KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Artistes’ Association (Karyawan) is urging celebrities to not use their influence to spread anti-vaccine sentiments, describing such actions as a step backwards and unwise.
They should instead use their celebrity status to encourage more people to take up the Covid-19 vaccine in the bid to put an end the current pandemic, said its president Datuk Freddie Fernandez.
“The arts industry has been one of the worst-affected by the pandemic. Thefore, artistes should be able to see how getting vaccinated can help us regain normalcy in our lives, allowing us to go out again and earn an income,“ he told Bernama.
He said the government had done their best to promote the importance of getting vaccinated against Covid-19, with the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin himself setting an example by getting inoculated.
“So why are we still resisting this, if it can help us protect ourselves and the community from Covid-19?” he questioned.
Meanwhile, Persatuan Seniman Malaysia (Seniman) president Zed Zaidi said that while he respected the personal decision of some celebrities to refuse vaccination, they should not act selfishly by issuing statements that can influence fans into making similar decisions as well.
“The vaccine is one of the efforts taken by a government that wants to protect its people. We should support it and use our large social media fanbase to promote its necessity and benefits.
“Celebrities have their own following - fans who follow closely what they say and what they do. It’s because of that that I’m calling out to each one of them to be more responsible when coming out with vaccine-related statements on their social media accounts,“ he said.
Zed Zaidi believed that rejection of the vaccine stemmed from lack of information or getting it from unreliable sources.
Several local celebrities have set social media abuzz lately for openly rejecting the Covid-19 vaccination, claiming it to be due to questionable ingredients in the vaccines.
The National Covid-19 Immunisation Plan was launched on Jan 24, providing free vaccinations for everyone in the country, local or otherwise. — Bernama