KLANG: Samri Abdul Rahman hopes to be the first one out the door when Malaysians are able to travel with the digital certification of their vaccination status on the MySejahtera app.
The 46-year-old Mah Meri woodcarver from Kampung Orang Asli Sungai Bumbun in Pulau Carey said, “I want to be prepared for when I can travel again.”
He added, “I wanted to register for the vaccine but I did not know how until a friend showed me. I’m happy it’s done now.’’
Samri, a father of two, is one of the well-known woodcarvers in the aboriginal village near Kuala Langat, who produce woodcraft such as the man in mask and tiger in chains.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, he often travelled locally and overseas to showcase his skills and art.
“I have been to Paris, London, Bangkok, Shanghai and Bali and many places locally with Kraftangan Malaysia throughout the years.
“I’m hopeful of introducing the intangible art of the Mah Meri tribe to more people of the world when the pandemic is over,” said Samri, who has been woodcarving for over 20 years.
He said he would encourage more Orang Asli to sign up for the vaccine to protect themselves and their families.
Samri said the app is convenient for proving you are vaccinated.
Operators from tour and travel agencies agreed that the MySejahtera app, when powered by a reliable management system, can be regarded as the official vaccination record that allows people to travel for work and leisure.
“The app would play a crucial role in reinvigorating tourism, which includes both business and leisure travel, conventions, exhibitions and meetings,” said Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) secretary-general Nigel Wong.
He said MATTA has also been proposing that the government allow completely vaccinated Malaysians to travel interstate and overseas.
“The app will also help facilitate more than just travel, but also other related economic sectors such as the food and beverage and other lifestyle-related industries,” he said, adding that it was important that economic frontliners be given priority for vaccination.
“As is with medical frontliners, economic frontliners will now be one of our first lines of defence during the economic revival phase.
“As the first step in encouraging a revival of the tourism sector, priority should be on vaccinating the tourism frontliners.
When tourism frontliners and fully-vaccinated individuals are allowed to travel freely, tourism operators can then restart operations,” he said.
Wong said tourism operators have been encouraging staff to register for vaccination so they can be ready to go back to business.
“MATTA members are eagerly waiting for their staff to get vaccinated,” he said, adding that the Public-Private Partnership Covid-19 Industry Immunisation Programme (Pikas) has been helpful in speeding up the nation’s economic recovery.
He also said MATTA is exploring every avenue to ensure the tourism industry is back on track and willing to work closely with the International Trade and Industry Ministry to explore options.