KUALA LUMPUR – The current situation in the country is untenable, with the emergency and movement control order (MCO) failing to address the pandemic.
PETRA Group chairman and chief executive Datuk (Dr) Vinod Sekhar said the economy has deteriorated and the health system is under pressure since the start of the emergency.
“We went through the first MCO when our (daily Covid-19 case) numbers were in the 100s. We are now in the 1,000s; if we had tested more, we would be well over 10,000.
“I am concerned that these numbers are used to subvert democracy and Parliament, which should be seen as unacceptable.
“If it made a difference to the pandemic, I guess we can all accept it, but it hasn’t.
“Since the emergency started, the situation has deteriorated, the economy has deteriorated, the health system is under pressure.
“Perhaps this emergency hasn’t worked because of lack of oversight or lack of accountability,” Vinod said in his opening address at a webinar hosted by the Sekhar Institute and The Vibes called “Emergency, Democracy and the Rule of Law” yesterday.
On the topic of vaccination, Vinod questioned why the vaccination process has not included the private sector.
“Why don’t you let the private sector buy approved vaccines and bring them in?
“Businesses have the ability to find and buy the approved vaccines, so let them bring it in and give it to their own employees; let them sell it if they want to.
Let businesses pay; this way, we ease the pressure on the government to help those who are most at risk, especially the B40 group.”
One of the webinar’s panellist, former attorney-general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas, meanwhile, said that the public healthcare sector should have worked with the private healthcare sector to distribute the vaccines when they arrived.
“We should have had all school halls and other available places be vaccination centres and administer the vaccine on a daily basis and throughout 24 hours.
“The objective is to administer the vaccine within one month.
“I cannot understand why Malaysia could not have administered the vaccine in one month and solved the problem, at least temporarily, because vaccination is better than nothing.”
Another panellist, DAP Youth chief Howard Lee, said that he had finalised a deal to convert a 12m-long bus into a mobile vaccination centre, although approval from the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) and Health Ministry has yet to be received.
“Each and every single one of us needs to take that responsibility as individuals and as leaders of society to get things done first when there is room for it and look at approvals afterward,” he said. – The Vibes, July 4, 2021