The Prime Minister’s decision for all MPs and ADUNs to be given priority and early Covid-19 vaccination in phase 1 of the vaccination roll out plan is totally unacceptable.
Is the government’s decision for elected representatives to be given priority for the vaccination based by WHO recommendations?
The government should just stick to the priority list of people to be vaccinated following the three phases as set out by the government.
Phase One is for frontliners and medical health workers working in high risk environments, Phase Two is for the vulnerable group, the elderly aged 65 and above and those with medical conditions, and Phase Three is for the rest of the adult population above the age of 18.
While it is acceptable for senior government officials such as the Prime Minister, the Health Minister, Chief Ministers and even the parliamentary opposition leader to be given vaccination priority – so as to prevent any risk of major disruption in running the country during this time of national health crisis – why should all elected representatives regardless of their age or health status be given blanket special preferential treatment to be vaccinated first over others such as the elderly or the vulnerable groups with medical conditions?
If it is the intention of the government to promote public confidence in the vaccines and follow official protocols, then shouldn’t His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and all the rulers be vaccinated first before our Prime Minister?
The Prime Minister’s explanation that elected representatives, because of the nature of their work as politicians, often have to meet the rakyat at grassroots level and therefore somehow deserve special treatment and vaccine protection ahead of others is utter nonsense.
Supermarket workers, retail workers and bus drivers for example, too have to come into contact with many people daily during the course of their work, and they have to wait for their turn to be vaccinated. Is the Prime Minister saying that their lives are less important than politicians who get to jump the vaccination queue? It is unethical, indecent and downright wrong.
As elected representatives, we can still carry on our daily responsibilities just as everyone else by strictly following the SOPs. Just don’t flout the SOP rules. The priority right now must be to get whatever supply of vaccines we can get hold of, into the arms of doctors and nurses who are risking their lives out there for us everyday.
By allowing all MPs and ADUNs to jump the queue and be vaccinated, the Prime Minister is certainly not promoting public confidence or gaining any public trust in the government’s national vaccination plan. I call on the Prime Minister to review his blanket decision for all MPs and ADUNs to be given priority in the Covid-19 vaccination over others.
Gooi Hsiao Leung is state assemblyman for Bukit Tengah.
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