PUTRAJAYA: Micro entrepreneurs and informal business operators should be included in the priority list for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme as they are highly exposed to Covid-19, said Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (pic).
The Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister said for the immunisation programme to be effective, sectors other than health, security and defence with a similarly high level of exposure should be vaccinated quickly.
“Micro entrepreneurs and informal businesses deal closely with the public, making them highly exposed to the spread of the virus.
“They, too, should be given vaccination priority. We hope that the National Security Council can assist us in this matter,” he said yesterday.
There are nearly two million micro and informal businesses nationwide, providing employment to more than seven million people.
More than 78% of the country’s small and medium enterprise sector comprises micro businesses.
Wan Junaidi said he and ministry secretary-general Datuk Suriani Ahmad had written to the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry to arrange for vaccinations for micro and informal business operators.“We will discuss with the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force on how we can help these groups get vaccinated,” he added.
Bukit Bintang Hawkers and Petty Traders Association chairman See Foo Hoong said efforts to get micro traders and informal business operators to be given vaccination priority must be properly coordinated so that no one was left out.
Federation of Petty Traders and Hawkers Association president Datuk Seri Rosli Sulaiman also welcomed the ministry’s initiative, adding that micro entrepreneurs and informal business operators had no choice but to open their business every day as they earned daily wages.