Pharmaniaga: Man behind vaccine ‘offer’ never contacted us


PETALING JAYA: The businessman who claimed that he wanted to purchase two million Sinovac doses for Penang never contacted Pharmaniaga Bhd, the exclusive distributor of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine in Malaysia.

“They never contacted us and we also did not contact them, ” said Pharmaniaga Berhad managing director Datuk Zulkarnain Md Eusope.

He said this when he was asked by reporters about Yong Chee Kong, who had been in the news over an “offer” to donate two million doses of Sinovac vaccine to Penang.

Zulkarnian was asked if Yong and the company he purportedly represented – Xintai Development Enterprise Ltd – had contacted them for the purchase of vaccines.

On Wednesday, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said initial checks showed the donation offer appeared to be bogus.

Police had on Friday recorded a statement from Yong, with investigations linked to police reports lodged in Penang.

Yong became the focus of attention when Khairy, who is also minister in charge of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, said that the offer by a private company of two million free doses of Sinovac for Penang was a scam.

Khairy said an investigation with Sinovac China revealed that there was no documentation about the company which purportedly made the offer.

However, Yong, who is from Tawau, had claimed that he made the offer on behalf of his “boss”, the managing director of a Hong Kong-based company.

Yong had claimed that he first offered the two million doses of Sinovac vaccine to Sabah early this year, but the state had rejected it as the drug was yet to be approved by the Malaysian government then.

Yesterday, Zulkarnain was present with Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob after witnessing the “fill and finish” process at Pharmaniaga Life Science Sdn Bhd factory in Puchong.

Ismail Sabri said the government will be acquiring 8.2 million doses of Sinovac vaccine by the end of next month with 3.8 million of them through the “fill and finish” process by Pharmaniaga Life Science.

Bernama quoted him as saying that 4.4 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were imported directly from China with 400,000 already distributed and one million doses having arrived, adding that the remaining three million would be received by the end of next month.

“From the Pharmaniaga Life Science Sdn Bhd plant, 1.8 million are ready while two more million would be available by the end of June, thus giving the government a total of 8.2 million doses, ” he said.

Sinovac Life Sciences of China appointed Pharmaniaga as an exclusive distributor of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine in Malaysia in a ceremony signed early this year.

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