By John Isaac
THE cost of vaccination to non-citizens working in Malaysia should be borne by their employers instead of the federal government, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Jemut Masing.
“I don’t agree with giving free vaccination to non-citizens working in Malaysia. That responsibility should be assigned to their employers.
“It’s not fair to use tax payer’s money to pay for non-citizens’ health,” he said in a statement in response to the national Covid-19 immunisation programme unveiled by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin recently.
Muhyiddin said the immunisation programme will be carried out in three phases up to Feb 22 next year, with the first phase from Feb 26 to April 2021, the second phase from April to August 2021 and the third phase from May 2021 to February 2022.
It is understood that 500,000 people will be covered in the first phase, comprising frontliners making up the government and private-sector healthcare workers as well as frontliners in the essential and security services.
The second phase involves up to 9.4 million people including healthcare staff and high-risk group while 13.7 million people are targeted in the third phase comprising those aged 18 and above (both citizens and non-citizens).
According to New Sarawak Tribune, Masing said regardless, the free vaccination exercise is welcomed by Malaysians and is a commendable effort on the prime minister’s part to contain the spread of Covid-19.
“The roll-out of free Covid-19 vaccination in three phases in Malaysia including non-citizens employed in Malaysia starting Feb 26 is good news.
“Free vaccine to all Malaysians is a very honourable exercise. Their health and safety must be Perikatan Nasional (PN) federal government’s priority,” he said.