Covid-19: Priority is vaccinating citizens in Sabah, says Masidi

Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah's priority is to vaccinate citizens and the state has no plans for now to inoculate undocumented immigrants for free, says its Covid-19 spokesman Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.

He said the state is still trying to get all eligible Sabahans to be vaccinated.

“Let us finish with the vaccination of our locals first before thinking of others,” he said when contacted about walk-in jabs being allowed, including for undocumented workers, in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor from Aug 1.

He said even after all eligible Sabahans receive their Covid-19 immunisation jabs, there is no guarantee that undocumented persons would willingly turn up.

The state Housing and Local Government Minister said they were more afraid of legal repercussions such as getting deported or serving jail time.

“When we called them in for Covid-19 screening, they didn’t show up – so what makes you think they will turn up to get vaccinated,” he said.

State Immigration Department director Datuk Datuk Dr Muhamad Sade Mohamad Amin said the department has no definite statistics on undocumented workers in Sabah at present.

At the moment, the temporary detention centres for illegal immigrants are holding some 7, 000 detainees, all waiting to be deported in phases amid travel and other restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Muhamad said.

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