Reopen Parliament To Support Covid-19 Vaccination Programme — Nurul Izzah Anwar

The main focus remains for Malaysia to escape the clutches of the pandemic and achieve the target of 80 percent herd immunity.

I refer to the statement issued by the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) Coordinating Minister regarding the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) January 5, 2021 proceedings, involving the Special Committee on Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) on the procurement and usage of vaccines in Malaysia.

As a committee member of the PAC, which consists of members from across the political spectrum, I reaffirm that the PAC is satisfied with the explanation made by key members of the JKJAV, namely, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Health Director-General, with regards to the procurement process of Covid-19 vaccines, particularly on vaccine pricing and the planned delivery schedule.

As Malaysia continues to suffer the devastating impact of the ongoing pandemic — simultaneously on the health and socio-economic fronts — our focus must always be on the protection and wellbeing of the rakyat.

Achieving an 80 per cent herd immunity is one of the main ways to achieve this; along with quick and efficient contact tracing.

The solid beginnings achieved through the PAC session with the JKJAV must continue through the immediate reopening of Parliament. The Dewan Rakyat is the watchdog of the Executive: a place for the enactment of legislation to protect the rights of the people; to raise and debate on critical issues. It must not be reduced to a vote-casting cat fight.

In particular, I firmly believe that the PAC proceedings as well as the parliamentary session will provide the much needed bipartisan space that will allow us to throw our full support to PICK.

The ongoing mudslinging and politicising will only serve to create further uncertainty and lend credence to the growing anti-vaxxer movement that is rapidly emerging on social media. It is our joint, bipartisan duty to see this immunisation programme through.

I will be joining the Chief Minister of Penang in his visit to the Vaccination Centre (PPV) at SP Arena, Seberang Jaya next Monday, April 26. 2021. My service centre, alongside many other MPs and ADUNs from both sides of the political divide, will continue to work together to assist in the vaccination registration process.

Granted, there are frustrations and justified criticism on the weaknesses of the country’s governance, but it must never negatively impact or hinder the progress of our immunisation programme.

The main focus remains for Malaysia to escape the clutches of the pandemic and achieve the target of 80 percent herd immunity.

Nurul Izzah Anwar is Member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh.

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