Monday, May 10

PKR S’wak backs Chong’s call for DUN to convene to discuss state’s Covid-19 vaccine purchase


KUCHING (May 3): Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak supports the call made by Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen that the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) should convene to deliberate on how Sarawak should purchase its own Covid-19 vaccine.

PKR Sarawak deputy chairman Abang Zulkifli Abang Engkeh said the party agreed that there should be a special DUN session to debate on the matter prior to approval to purchase the Covid-19 vaccine since it would involve a big financial expenditure in order to ensure its effectiveness.

“We in Keadilan Sarawak fully support the state government’s intention to purchase the vaccine itself in order to expedite the process of vaccinating the people in Sarawak.  But what we see now is the vaccination process is very slow,” he said in a statement.

Hoping that it would be money well spent if approved, Abang Zulkifli reminded the state government that it did not have to bow to the federal government as Sarawak has its autonomy on such matter and it can allocate funds for such purpose as long as the state can afford it.

“At the same time, we call on the people to continue to take care of their own health and safety as well as comply with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that have been set by the authorities,” he added.

Chong, who is also Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak chairman, yesterday said a DUN meeting should take place to inform Sarawakians of how the state government is going to purchase the vaccine such as from which supplier.

“There are so many suppliers, Pfizer, Sinovac, CanSino, Moderna, Spunik and AstraZeneca even though the state government has said to reject AstraZeneca.

“Most suppliers are dealing with countries and the volume they are selling is huge, can Sarawak government squeeze in to purchase? Will they supply to Sarawak? Pricing is a factor because some suppliers will sell to a higher bidder.

“All these the state government should keep the people informed and not keeping us in the dark. We can give our full cooperation,” he had pointed out.

Asserting that nothing stops Sarawak from convening its DUN meeting, Chong also said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had openly said that there was nothing wrong to hold Parliament sessions during this Emergency Order.

As such, Chong called on the state government to call a DUN meeting to inform Sarawakians of its plan on the purchase of vaccine.