April 27th The Edge Malaysia reported “An additional RM2 billion to RM5 billion allocation for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme is needed after various factors were considered, including increased costs to procure the Covid-19 vaccine and the costs to administer the programme, said programme Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.”
It’s in report, the Edge Malaysia included a table of the breakdown of this additional fund of RM5 Billion.
3 items are listed therein:
1. Gifts for non-health volunteers RM200 mil
2. Health Volunteers’ gifts RM147 mil
3. Unexpected contingencies RM110 mil
The government should breakdown the above items and give a detailed account to the public so as to be transparent and accountable.
To simply state items as “gifts” and “contingencies” leaves the reader with many unanswered questions as to the authenticity of such allocations.
In these truly hard trying times for the citizens of Malaysia and Malaysia being on the brink of “bankruptcy” with debts piling high, can the government justify such an allocation totaling RM457 mil for something termed widely as “gifts & contingencies”?
Every cent that is spent on any allocation by the government of the day without check and account (as parliament is not sitting) is directly a burden that has to be borne by the people of Malaysia.
Many businesses are closed or are closing. The mitigation of this pandemic is not successful thus far. The people are suffering.
Sarawak has been shortchanged when broken ventilators were sent to Sibu General Hospital and there’s now talk of Khairy sending the unpopular Astra Zeneca vaccine to Sarawak.
In Sibu, after only 2 days of vaccinations, the vaccine supply stopped. How many percent of Sarawakians have been vaccinated as compared to the rest of Malaysia?
A call came out for donations last week as Sibu General Hospital is short of ICU beds and infusion pumps. Where’s the allocation for these essential items? Are gifts more essential than these? Or is it because Sibu is not even on the list to receive any allocations?
Why is Sarawak treated like the throwaway child that nobody wants? The creme of the crop goes to Malaya and the crumbs off the floor gets swept up and packaged to Sarawak!
With Sarawak continually being one of the top contributors towards the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Malaysia, shouldn’t Sarawak have a say about the Federal allocations of funds especially in these trying times when Sarawakians are dying and our health care in Sarawak is truly dismal and sub standard at best?
The Federal Government must be accountable to Sarawak and state clearly which part of this additional RM5 billion allocation fund belongs to Sarawak as we are truly in need of the very basic of health care such as beds and infusion pumps, needless to say the vaccine.
Sarawak deserves an answer.
Priscilla Lau (Lawyer)
Secretary General PBK