KOTA KINABALU: The government should consider penalising those who administer ‘empty syringe’ vaccine jabs to serve as a deterrent for would-be perpetrators, suggested Sabah PKR chief Datuk Christina Liew.
The former Sabah Deputy Chief Minister said the government should consider enacting a preventive law that views these actions as a criminal offence.
Liew made this proposal in a statement on Thursday (July 22), following reports of such incidents in the country which are now being investigated.
"It should be deemed a crime for anyone to knowingly and deliberately administer ‘empty syringe’ vaccine shots.
“The Covid-19 pandemic is a matter of life and death, so we should not indulge foolhardy practices.
“Vaccinators should not put more citizens' lives at risk by shirking their responsibilities,” she stressed, adding that as of July 21, some 7,440 people in Malaysia have already succumbed to the virus.
“Our country, with a population of 32 million, has reportedly surpassed Indonesia and India in Covid-19 deaths per million of the population,” Liew added.
The Tawau Member of Parliament and Api Api assemblyman, called for more transparency in the vaccination process as well as standardisation in providing the "dos and don'ts", for example whether vaccine recipients are allowed to take photos of the process when it is in progress.
She was made to understand that while some vaccination administration centres (PPVs) allow this to take place, others prohibit photography or video recording.
Based on public feedback collected, Liew said despite staff in the PPVs reported to be mostly obliging, she did receive complaints that some were rude and would not entertain those wanting clarifications, as some have become wary since the empty syringe injection reports.