PBK chief moots vaccine deployment strategy

Voon Lee Shan

KUCHING: The Health authorities should not deploy and administer the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines to the rural community, views Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president Voon Lee Shan.

“If it is true that Covid-19 vaccines will be tested in the rural areas first, then this is a very unthoughtful act as Covid-19 vaccines aren’t proven 100 percent safe. Moreover, there are no guarantees for the period after the time of vaccination.

“We should not allow the rural people to be used as test subjects as we do not fully know whether the vaccines are safe or otherwise,” he said in a statement today.

Voon said the state government comprising the chief minister and cabinet ministers should instead take the lead in being inoculated as it would be viewed as leading by example.

“If nothing happens to any of them, say after 10 to 12 months, maybe this could give confidence to people that the vaccine is probably safe,” he said.

The PBK chief, however, said the best way to combat Covid-19 is not by vaccination but by imposing the correct standard operating procedures (SOPs) stringently without fear or favour.

“In fact, we nearly succeeded when we imposed total lockdown during the early stages of Covid-19 attack last year,” he said.

He said there should not be any fear of economic problems faced by the people if the government uses the RM5 million fund of the Rural Transformation Project (RTP) fund allocated for all constituencies, to combat Covid-19,

“Further, Sarawak has lots of reserves and these should be used to combat this Covid-19,” he said.

Voon also urged the top state leaders to take a pay cut of 20 percent to help fight Covid-19 and show solidarity with the people. He added, other elected assemblyman should also take a pay cut for the purpose.

“If New Zealand’s Cabinet under the leadership of prime minister Jacinda Ardern took a pay cut in April last year 2020 for six months to fight Covid-19, there is no reason leaders in Sarawak are not able to follow as such,” he said.