SEREMBAN: The government should consider making those who can afford to do so pay for their doses of Covid-19 vaccine, instead of tapping the National Trust Fund, says Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.
He said that this should be done instead of tapping the National Trust Fund, adding that the government should also consider subsidising the vaccines for those who can't afford it, rather than use monies from the fund.
"While this may not be the ideal situation, surely it beats robbing our future generations. The fund, set up some 30 years ago, is for the benefit of future generations given the country's declining natural resources," said the Umno deputy president.
Mohamad Hasan said the recent passing of an emergency ordinance to allow this was highly troubling, as it showed that the government had failed to prudently manage the Covid-19 crisis.
He said although RM3bil had already been allocated under Budget 2021 for the vaccination of 83% of Malaysians, a detailed clarification on how this part of the budget was spent was virtually non-existent.
"Also, just last month, the allocation for the National Immunisation Programme was further increased to RM5 billion to speed up its target of vaccinating 80% the population by December instead of February 2022, ”said Mohamad Hasan.
"So, why is the government now tapping for more money from the fund," he added in a statement.
Mohamad said matters of such national importance should have been discussed thoroughly and with the utmost transparency.
"There has been little to no scrutiny or discussion between the members of the government administration and the elected representatives to ensure check-and-balance, ” he said.
Mohamad added that there was no room for parliamentary select committees to ensure there is transparency and accountability as Parliament is still unable to reconvene.
The Emergency (National Trust Fund) Ordinance 2021 which came into force on Wednesday (April 21) will enable the government to source money from the fund which is derived mainly from petroleum revenue.
The amendment to Section 6 of the National Trust Fund Act 1988 will see the government increase additional funding to combat the Covid-19, apart from RM17bil which was passed under Budget 2021 for the purpose. The Agong is empowered under Article 150 of the Federal Constitution with regard to the Emergency Proclamation to amend the National Trust Fund Act 1988.