KUALA LUMPUR: The leadership of the federal and state governments must set aside political differences and instead continue to work together in the fight against Covid-19, including the vaccination process.

The matter was raised by several members of Parliament (MPs), including Tan Sri Noh Omar (BN-Tanjong Karang) and Dr Ong Kian Ming (PH-Bangi) at the special meeting of the Dewan Rakyat today.

Noh proposed that the federal government give permission to the state governments to purchase existing vaccines directly from Pharmaniaga, based on the standard operating procedure (SOP) issued for vaccine purchase application.

“When comes to Covid, don’t think about the party, put aside political differences because it doesn’t know Umno, PH or PKR, everyone will be attacked... let’s work together and allow the state government and the private sector to buy (vaccines) and after that, we will delegate the work.

“... The National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) by federal (government) continues, but in Selangor, it can help the people if Selangor can buy (the vaccine) and give to the people, (for) factories to manage without having to go through a third party,” he said.

On July 21, Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, said that a total of 14 million doses of Sinovac vaccine will be sold by Pharmaniaga Bhd to interested states and private companies from this month until September.

Ismail Sabri said that the sale of the vaccine directly to interested parties had the permission of the Special Committee on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV), and was believed to accelerate efforts to achieve herd immunity earlier than planned.

Noh also proposed that vaccination through PICK be given priority for Selangor, by taking into account the total population as well as the high Covid-19 transmission in the state.

Charles Santiago (PH-Klang) interjected and said that the population in Klang alone is 1.5 million but the percentage who have received two doses of vaccination is only 11 percent until today, indicating the need to increase vaccination.

Selangor recorded more than 6,000 daily Covid-19 cases every day for the week starting July 22.

In agreement with Noh, Dr Ong proposed for a bipartisan spirit among all MPs in playing a role in resolving the Covid-19 pandemic during this critical time.

“I appeal to all honourable members that we need to have a different plan and direction than before, because the extraordinary time calls for extraordinary leadership by all of us here in this august hall,” he said. — Bernama