Press Statement By Chong Chieng Jen:
Abdul Karim should not belittle the role of Sarawak DUN by associating the calling for DUN sitting to discuss the vaccine procurement as seeking cheap publicity stunt.
His excuses of the requirement of 28-day notice for convening a DUN meeting and the expiry date of DUN on 6-6-2021 are the most ridiculous and ignorant excuses ever come up by a Minister for refusing to call DUN meeting.
The DUN Standing Order 6 clearly provides that in cases of urgency to be certified by 2 Ministers, the Speaker can reduce or entirely dispense with the 28-day notice requirement for convening the DUN sitting.
Is Abdul Karim so ignorant of the DUN Standing Order that he is totally unaware of such provision?
More importantly, more than 2 months have elapsed since the GPS Government first indicated that it will buy vaccine for the people Sarawak if supply of vaccine by the Federal Government is insufficient and slow. Since then, the State Government has on many occasions indicated that it will buy the vaccine, but so far there is only all talk but no action by the State Government.
To purchase vaccine and to carry out the mass vaccination program, it will involve additional State fund to be allocated and all government allocation must be subject to approval by the DUN, unless Abdul Karim intends to by-pass the process of the DUN to use public fund for the purpose.
Be you so high, the law is above you. No one is above the law and no one shall be allowed to use public fund without the authorisation and approval of DUN, not even the mighty GPS of PBB Minister.
The fight against the Covid-19 pandemic is the fight of humanity and the people of Sarawak as a whole. Not only is DUN only legal channel for the approval of the use public fund, but it is the most appropriate forum for the Government inform the people of Sarawak of its plan in the purchase of vaccine and the roll out to the people.
In relation to the purchase of the vaccine and its roll out, the State Government must inform the public about:
1.What type of vaccine it intends to purchase, whether such vaccine has bee approved by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA)?
2.How much is the estimated costs of such vaccine?
3.When would the purchased vaccine arrive in Sarawak?
4.Given that only 56,000 people in Sarawak were vaccinated with 2 doses of vaccines in 2 months (from 27-2-2021 to 29-4-2021), how the Government of Sarawak intends to vaccinate 50,000 people in a day as claimed by Dr Sim Kui Hian?
5.How many vaccination centres will be set up throughout Sarawak and how many medical staff will be deployed throughout Sarawak for the exercise?
6.For those who are not on Mysejahtera apps, how is the Government going to manage the appointment dates and the personal data for the vaccination program?
7.How will this vaccination program be run in the rural areas of Sarawak?
So far, the people of Sarawak are in the dark on these questions and the State Government also seems clueless about it, except making hollow statements about “wanting to purchase vaccine on its own” and “50,000 vaccination a day”.
Therefore, I call on the Government to immediately convene the DUN sitting to inform the public of its plan and the timeline for the purchase of the vaccines and vaccination exercise for the people of Sarawak.
Chong Chieng Jen
DAP Sarawak Chairman