KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 5 ― DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has urged the government to treat the country’s current Covid-19 situation as it had done in the Klang Valley via the Operation Surge Capacity (OSC) vaccination drive.
In a statement today, Lim said if this could be done in the Klang Valley, why not carry out a similar operation nationwide.
“The essential element is putting professional expertise over political partisanship and a willingness to listen to opposing views as done when former deputy minister and DAP Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming was the OSC coordinator for Selangor,” said Lim.
Lim’s call came following the spike in Covid-19 cases yesterday which saw new infections surpassing the 18,000 mark and arriving at 19,819, close to 20,000 cases.
He cited the success of the OSC when it was conducted in the Klang Valley between July 26 and August 1, and saw a total of 1,655,217 Covid-19 vaccination appointments given to residents.
This number, as of August 2, reported by the Covid-19 National Immunisation Plan Coordinating Minister Khairy Jamaluddin from the Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force showed that 96.7 per cent of the adult population in the Klang Valley have received their first jabs, with 37.5 per cent now fully-vaccinated.
At the same time, Lim also questioned the government’s unwillingness to spend an additional RM1.5 billion to immediately purchase 11.2 million doses of Sinovac vaccines from Pharmaniaga.
“Purchasing 11.2 million doses now can ensure that Malaysia possesses enough vaccines to immunise all the 19 million of the adult population who have registered, without waiting an additional two to three months for the supplies to be delivered.
“Countless lives and livelihood will be lost if we wait for another two to three months for the Pfizer vaccines to arrive, when we can buy the required Sinovac vaccines now,” he said.
He suggested that instead of waiting for the National Recovery Plan to be approved in one or two months, the government should act now by injecting an additional RM45 billion in direct funds.
“This RM45 billion can increase monthly welfare assistance to RM1,000, including the unemployed; RM6 billion in wages and hiring incentives to create 300,000 new jobs; RM30 billion in financial grants, monetary incentives, wage, rent and utility subsidies to help businesses especially the tourism and hospitality industry to survive; RM4 billion for health support system, hospital beds and facilities as well as enhancing the vaccination programme.
“In view of healthy profits, the banking industry must offer corporate social responsibility by sharing the burden of borrowers and be instructed to waive interests until the end of the year on the automatic bank loan moratorium.
“These measures together with reopening of the economy should be implemented first to show Perikatan National’s sincerity in wanting a whole-of-society effort to manage the economic crisis,” he said.