The minister assures that the Covid-19 vaccination rate in the country will increase more significantly from June onwards
by S BIRRUNTHA / pic by TMR FILE
NATIONAL Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NCIP) Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar (picture) told Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow and Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng not to politicise the issue of vaccination in the country.
In a virtual press conference yesterday, Khairy said two million doses of the Sinovac vaccine offer made by a private company to the Penang government is a scam.
“I had informed Lim and Chow this morning not to politicise the NCIP. This is a scam,” the minister said.
He was commenting on Chow’s recent statement requesting the federal government to approve the donation of two million doses of Covid-19 Sinovac vaccine from a private company for the use of the people in Penang.
Khairy, who is also Science, Technology and Innovation minister, said after conducting a review with Sinovac Biotech Ltd, the offer to donate the Sinovac vaccine to the Penang government is believed to be a “scam” and “bogus”.
“We have conducted a search on this Xintai Development Enterprise Ltd company and found that the company does not exist in Hong Kong. We also did an inspection with vaccine manufacturer Sinovac and found that there was never a deal.
“This company does not exist… so what Penang chief minister Chow showed about the offer of two million doses of this vaccine is false,” Khairy said.
The minister says he is open to being proven wrong and stands ready to accept the vaccine contribution if the offer is found to be legitimate.
According to Khairy, the offer letter to the Penang chief minister was sent by an individual named Yong Chee Kong from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, who claimed to be the MD of Hong Kong-based company Xintai.
In fact, he said an offer letter to contribute two million doses of Covid-19 vaccine was also made by the same individual back on Feb 9 this year.
Khairy, however, said a check by his party showed that the offer was made based on a fake letter.
The minister said he will ask the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force to lodge a police report to find out the identity of the individual named Yong.
Meanwhile, Khairy also clarified that all Covid-19 vaccines brought into the country have documents confirming whether an order or purchase has been made as vaccines are a controlled commodity.
“Vaccines cannot be bought like shirts at Shopee, they are controlled items that need to have documents confirming that there is an order or the purchase has been made.
“I am responsible for the procurement of vaccines for Malaysia and I know where the supply comes from, especially the producing country and the manufacturers.
“So, when there are allegations of accepting such an offer (as said by the Penang government), I can check with the relevant parties, whether it is valid or not.”
On the vaccine rollout, he assures that the Covid-19 vaccination rate in the country will increase more significantly from June onwards.
The minister noted that the increase from next month is in line with the arrival of more vaccine supplies to the country.
“As vaccination rate increases, we are confident herd immunity can be reached by the end of this year. We will increase the rate of vaccine distribution from month to month.
“Previously, the distribution of vaccines nationwide every day was around 30,000 to 40,000 doses. However, yesterday it reached 76,000 doses a day and will continue to increase.”