Khairy is appointed as the coordinating minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, which will run in 3 phases from end-February
by HARIZAH KAMEL / Pic by BERNAMA
PRIME Minister (PM) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (picture) has called for all parties to stop throwing baseless accusations against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah’s approval on the emergency proclamation.
He said the government obtained the consent of the King as the resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country is at a critical level.
Muhyiddin also said the proclamation is in line with the Cabinet’s decision.
“The proclamation of emergency by His Majesty is intended to give certain jurisdiction to the government to manage the pandemic more quickly, efficiently and effectively.
“Immediate actions are being taken by the government under the provisions of the Emergency Ordinance in force. The emergency proclamation has no purpose other than to curb the spread of Covid-19 more effectively and protect the lives of the people,” he said in a televised address yesterday.
Muhyiddin said although some try to challenge the emergency proclamation in court, he believes that the King fully understands and respects the country’s legal system and process.
“I would like to reiterate my commitment to advise His Majesty to dissolve Parliament as soon as the Covid-19 outbreak has subsided and the general election (GE) is safe to hold,” he stated.
In his address, the PM highlighted the actions that have been and are being taken by the government through the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021 to curb Covid-19.
These include amendments to several existing Acts, the acquisition of important national assets and the restructuring of human resources.
He explained that the government is in the process of amending the Minimum Standards of Housing, Accommodation and Facilities of Employees Act 1990 (Act 446), which makes it compulsory for employers to provide accommodation that meets the set standards.
Furthermore, he has issued instructions to delegate police powers to the Malaysian Armed Forces to make arrests, inspections and seizures while assisting other agencies in carrying out operations for the country’s defence.
The PM also confirmed that the government will start the roll out of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, which will run in three phases, from the end of this month.
He said the first delivery of the vaccine supply by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE is scheduled to arrive in the country this month and around 80% of the country’s population or 26.5 million individuals will receive the vaccines free of charge.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar is appointed as the coordinating minister for the programme, where he will lead in managing issues related to logistics and coordination with the states and government agencies.
The first phase involves 500,000 frontline staff, comprising health and non-health personnel, scheduled to end in April.
The second phase will involve high-risk groups, estimated around 9.4 million people, and will run from April to August 2021.
For the third phase, the remaining vaccine recipients consists of adults 18 years and above, starting May 2021 to February 2022. This phase is important to form group protection or herd immunity, and further control the pandemic overall.