KUCHING,Feb 17: Deputy Chief Minister James Jemut Masing does not agree with the government’s decision to provide free Covid-19 vaccines for foreigners working in Malaysia.
He said the Covid-19 immunisation programme is a commendable effort to contain the spread of the virus in the country.
“But I don’t agree with providing free Covid-19 vaccines for foreigners working in Malaysia,” he said in a text message.
“It is unfair to use our taxpayers’ money to pay for those hiring foreign workers as it should be the employers’ responsibility to vaccinate them.”
Sarawak local government and housing minister Dr Sim Kui Hian said Chief Minister Abang Johari Abang Openg had requested all legalised and illegal foreign workers to be given the vaccine to protect Sarawakians.
He said Abang Johari had made the request during a meeting on Monday.
“However, we have not decided when to vaccinate these foreigners. We will seek advice from the medical experts,” he said.
“They (foreigners) will not be included under the first phase of the vaccination programme as they are not the frontliners.”
Sim also said the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee had decided to include journalists to be vaccinated under the first phase, which will kick off on Feb 27, as they are also considered frontliners.