Malaysia’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on Wednesday (3 Feb) criticised the government for not having a clear plan on mass vaccination for the people.
In a live stream on his Facebook page today, he said that the issue is worrying, seeing how Malaysia is left behind compared to neighbouring countries such as Indonesia and Singapore, both of which have commenced vaccination exercises for frontline workers beyond the medical sector.
“How do these countries have started vaccination way ahead of Malaysia and what makes us so slow in doing so?” He questioned.
Anwar said the country’s vaccination strategy has to be clear and concise.
“The government need to also clarify who are the vaccines for, how many people will be get vaccinated, how much the vaccines cost, and to whom the vaccine procurement contracts will be tendered,” Anwar stressed.
Certain irresponsible parties, he warned, will take advantage of the Emergency declaration, where crucial decisions are made without tender or passing through Parliament.
Anwar also criticised the “flip flopping” of the government’s standard operating procedures (SOPs), which change frequently and cause confusion even among authorities.
“I am not undermining anyone’s effort or work, I am just saying that the people should always be prioritised when making decisions,” he said. “These (SOPs) need to be clear as well so that the authorities can do their job properly.”
He urged political leaders to set an example by adhering to the rules so that the people will not accuse the government’s move to enforce higher fines for SOP breaches as unfair to the public and of practicing “double standards”.
Anwar stressed, however, that the issue of managing the spread of COVID-19 “is not solely the government’s responsibility”.
“The people and non-governmental bodies should work together in preventing the spread of COVID-19,” he said.