KUANTAN: The Pahang government is not compelling the public to take the Covid-19 vaccine injection and is only asking that they sign up for it first.
Following the circulation of an announcement to that effect, state secretary Datuk Seri Dr Sallehuddin Ishak cleared up the matter, saying that the Pahang government would comply with the Federal Government's policy of not making vaccination mandatory.
"There's a lot of noise on social media asking why the state government is forcing the people to register.
"Firstly, the state government will not force anyone to take the vaccine. It's a personal choice.
"Secondly, the vaccine is dispensed to each locality, district and vaccination centre based on registration.
"I am appealing to the public to register. When there are more sign-ups, we will get more vaccine doses," he said in a live broadcast on the state government's Facebook page on Friday (May 28).
Sallehuddin said the registration rate in Pahang was worrying and this could mean the state would not receive enough vaccine doses.
"If someone does not want to take the vaccine, it is all right. But if that person does not register, then someone else may not get the vaccine.
"Let other people have it if you don't want the vaccine. But at least register first so you can help others get the vaccine," he said, adding that states like Selangor and Penang received more doses because of their high registration rates.
An earlier announcement stated that any person who wishes to conduct business with government offices and counters would be asked to confirm that they have registered for vaccination through MySejahtera and the Pahang Covid-19 Immunisation System (SICP), and also agreed to receive, or have already received, the vaccination shot.
However, the wording of the announcement appeared to have been changed later to say that customers were "most encouraged to register for the vaccination programme through MySejahtera and SICP".
The latest version of the announcement also said assistance in registering would be provided at the counter for those who had not done so.
Sallehuddin said there was also the obstacle of having those in rural areas register because telecommunications coverage was bad.
"A big problem now is that the vaccine doses are mostly sent to areas where the public has easy access to the Internet.
"That is why we are mobilising civil servants to help those in rural areas register. They may also register at police stations where the line is good," he said.