‘S’gor needs to give details of its vaccine procurement, why residents need to pay’


SELANGOR MCA wants to know why residents in the state have to pay for Covid-19 vaccines procured by the state government when public funds have been allocated for the purchase.

Its state liaison committee chairman Datuk Ng Chok Sin said Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari announced on March 18 that the state executive council had approved a RM100mil allocation for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines for the state and that registration would open by the end of May or early June.

Ng asked that Amirudin explain the details of the vaccine, how the allocation was used and why residents should pay for it.

He made the claim based on Selangor’s vaccination portal — vax.selangkah.my — which asked for a 50% deposit to confirm the booking for an appointment and for another 50% to be paid at least 14 days before the vaccination date.

Ng also questioned how the state government procured the vaccines, adding that Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti) Minister Khairy Jamaluddin had said that all procurement and distribution of vaccines would be handled by the Federal Government.

“While Pahang, Johor, Sarawak and Selangor have all expressed desire to purchase more vaccines, Mosti has yet to receive any official application from these states.

“Hence, since Selangor did not submit an application to the Federal Government, and considering the shortage of vaccines, where did Selangor get its supply?” he asked.

Ng said that if Selangor used its own channels, could it guarantee the safety and quality of the vaccines it procured.

“If the vaccine is supplied and distributed by the Federal Government, wouldn’t charging extra for vaccines be unethical?

“We hope that at such a time of crisis, especially for Selangor with its extremely high number of daily cases, the state government will not be money-minded and indirectly sideline those who have financial problems, ” he added.

A check on the vax.selangkah.my website showed that registration for the vaccine was open for companies and workplaces as well as healthcare facilities like hospitals and clinics, while the category for individuals and families was labelled as “Coming Soon”.

Meanwhile in another statement, MCA central committee member Lau Chin Kok, in reference to Selangor recording the highest number of Covid-19 positive cases, suggested that the state government dip into its RM2.56bil reserves to alleviate the hardship of residents and industries caused by the pandemic.

This should include small and medium enterprises and industries that are still barred from operating, he said.

“Although responsibility for the war against the contagion mainly rests with Health Ministry, as a state government, considering that the pandemic situation in Selangor is worst in the country, it should leverage on its own resources and strategies to introduce more support facilities and policies to assist the rakyat and the various industries, ” said

Lau.

He claimed that despite the impact of Covid-19, Selangor’s financial performance remained healthy with reserves as high as RM2,569.95mil as announced under Selangor’s Budget 2021.

Lau called for the state to help residents and industries that were in dire straits such as allocating RM1,000 for each hawker, monthly RM300 for each jobless person for three months, setting up interest-free loan programme totalling RM500mil for SMEs, providing 50% wage subsidy for three months for SMEs, and providing special financial assistance for the entertainment and tourism industries in the state.

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