Malls association deny profiting from vaccination drive

by AZREEN HANI

THE Malaysia Shopping Malls Association (PPK) denied that malls are profiteering from the vaccination drive on retail workers, saying that it “is extremely far from the truth.”

PPK said in a statement that while the vaccines being provided by the government are free-of-charge, the malls are paying for the doctors/nurses/medical officer fees to Protect Health Corporation and all other antecedent costs.

“Our Association members estimated that the cost of providing the venue, logistics, manpower, standby ambulance service etc for the on-site vaccination centre will amount to RM100 to RM150 per pax, depending on volume and total number of doses available each day, the total population to be vaccinated and the duration to complete all the doses,” PPK said in a statement today.

It added that in the interests of the national agenda, it was decided that the malls shall largely subsidise these costs and be allowed to charge merely RM10 x 2 doses = RM20 per pax to partially defray their expenses and as a commitment by the registrant so as to mitigate absenteeism.

“We were also informed that the doctors and nurses providing their service will be allocated by the Protect Health Corporation who will charge to administer per dose at RM15. Therefore, at RM15 per dose x 2 doses equalling RM30, plus the above nominal sum of RM20 to partially defray logistic expenses, a total of RM50 for 2 doses will be charged to participants, principally only our shopping frontliners,” it added.

“Despite our good intentions, we are distraught with the negative comments in the media that malls are profiteering from this exercise which is extremely far from the truth. We issue this press release in order to put the record straight and correct.”

Economist Dr Geoffrey Williams told The Malaysian Reserve yesterday that the vaccination drive for retail workers should be optional, rather than compulsory if the cost of vaccination remains contentious.

“If they are forced to take the vaccine or lose their job then this is not fair but if they choose to take it for work purposes the employer should pay. It should not be compulsory but in effect it is, so there are human rights issues and personal protection issues in the workplace here,” he said in an interview.