Sarawak agency orders probe into claims native farmers without MyKad rejected for Covid-19 vax

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File picture shows Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg praying with a vaccine recipient at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak’s Covid-19 vaccination centre in Kuching, June 18, 2021. — Bernama pic
File picture shows Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg praying with a vaccine recipient at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak’s Covid-19 vaccination centre in Kuching, June 18, 2021. — Bernama pic

KUCHING, June 18 — The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has ordered an investigation into allegations that some indigenous farmers from deep inside Baram in the Miri Division have been turned away from receiving Covid-19 vaccinations.

Its chairman Datuk Douglas Uggah said he has contacted the Miri Health officer Dr Raviwharmman Packierisamy for clarification following news reports of the allegation.

He said Dr Raviwharmman denied rejecting the farmers who were without their citizenship documents.

“Dr Ravi has said that the department has a mechanism to deal with those not having the MyKad who come for the vaccination.

“Nonetheless, he will carry out an investigation on the matter,” Uggah, who is also Sarawak deputy chief minister, said in a statement tonight.

Local news portal The Vibes quoted Baram People’s Action Committee chairman Philip Jau as alleging some farmers were denied the vaccinations at the Long San government clinic in central Baram.

Jau told the news portal that he had received numerous complaints from the natives saying they were barred from entering the clinic when they could not produce their MyKad. He added that he feared tens of thousands of Sarawakians may be affected as they do not have their birth certificates or Malaysian identity cards.

Sarawak has started accepting walk-ins for Covid-19 vaccination in its rural areas due to the logistical and communication difficulty in reaching residents living deep in the interior that are not connected to roads.

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