Queue jumpers can be fined

PETALING JAYA: Fines will be imposed on those who jump the queue to get their Covid-19 vaccine, says Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.

The Special Committee on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee (JKJV) issued a clearer guideline yesterday after several aides to politicians and senior civil servants jumped the queue to get their inoculation meant for frontliners when the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme rolled out last Wednesday.

He said they had a law, which includes a fine, for those who jumped the queue.

He said this at a joint press conference with Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin yesterday after chairing the JKJV meeting.

Khairy also said they set up a special sub-committee to investigate complaints of those who jumped the queue to get the vaccine meant for frontliners under the programme’s first phase.

“Officers of state excos, mentris besar and state secretaries are not included in the list. This includes family members and spouses of Cabinet ministers and lawmakers, ” he said.

He said they must wait for their turn and “don’t even try to register and jump the queue”.

He said there was confusion on the definition of frontliners which led to several aides to politicians and senior civil servants jumping the queue.

Under phase one of the programme, lawmakers were also listed as those eligible to receive the vaccine.

“We have decided to come out with clear guidelines, which detail who are the frontliners, and this information will be available on our website.

“The issue of queue-jumping will not arise anymore and all will be asked to adhere to the guidelines, ” he said.

With the clear guidelines, he said, officers at the vaccination centres would not bow to any pressure but ensure only those eligible would receive the vaccine.

Khairy said those wanting to lodge complaints on queue jumpers could do so anonymously to protect their identity.

“I have received several complaints via email and will personally look into it, ” he said.

The government’s decision to set up the committee to investigate claims of queue-jumping comes in the wake of complaints about several aides to politicians and senior government officials who had gotten their vaccine.

Khairy added that the sub-committee would also look into new category groups appealing to be considered for vaccination.

The number of Malaysians registered to receive the vaccine was low, he said, with only 6.1% out of the 80% of targeted Malaysians had registered.

“The low registration rate is due to the ‘wait-and-see’ attitude of some Malaysians.

“We expected this. The rakyat will be more confident once more frontliners had received their vaccine, ” he said.

The government expects the number for the vaccine registration to increase with the launch of a hotline and online registration this Friday.

As at 11am yesterday, a total of 17,064 people had been vaccinated.

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