Monday, May 10

‘Walk the walk’, Chong tells state govt on purchase of Covid-19 vaccines

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Chong Chieng Jen. — File photo

KUCHING (Apr 11): The Sarawak government must put their words into action on the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines for all Sarawakians, said state DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen.

He said that since February, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and several state cabinet ministers had announced that the state government had intended to purchase the vaccines.

“This is the most welcomed announcement for all.  But, almost two months have passed and yet the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government is still talking about asking for more vaccine quota from the federal government.

“What happened to Abang Jo’s announcement for Sarawak to purchase our own vaccines?” he queried in a statement today.

Chong said that for the past one month, Sarawak’s new infection cases had been in the top three ranking in the country.

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“This is despite the more stringent standard operating procedures (SOPs) on quarantine, movement control and border control measures imposed by the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) than those imposed by the Ministry of Health in terms of the pandemic management.

“While the so-called more relaxed SOP states are now registering a decline in new infection cases, Sarawak, which has more stringent SOPs, is having higher new infection cases. What has gone wrong?” he questioned.

Chong, who is also Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak chairman, said it was DAP Sarawak as well as PH Sarawak’s position that the sooner the vaccination programme is rolled out with more than 70 per cent of the population vaccinated, the sooner the state can open up its economy and return to normal economic activities including local businesses, business travels, tourism, and in-flow of investments.

“Therefore, we call on the state government to walk the walk and not just talk the talk on the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines for Sarawakians.

“On our part, as we are not the government of the day, we will do whatever we can to help, by encouraging and helping more to register for the vaccination programme,” he said.

The Kota Sentosa assemblyman said his DAP Kota Sentosa branch had set up a registration booth at 7th Mile Kota Sentosa Bazaar today to help the public, especially senior citizens, to register for the Covid-19 vaccination.

“We have received very good response from the public,” he said, adding that all DAP branches across the state have been directed to actively help the public in registering for the programme.