ISKANDAR PUTERI, March 5 — The free COVID-19 vaccination programme should not be used as campaign material for the Johor state election, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

He said the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) is an initiative of the federal government and not of any political party.

“The government should take credit (for it). There is no need to use it as election campaign material,” he told reporters after visiting the Iskandar Puteri Barisan Nasional command centre here today.

He said this when asked about a certain party’s campaign which allegedly used billboards related to free vaccines and stated that the programme was an initiative of that party.

Meanwhile, Khairy, who is also the Rembau member of parliament, said all parties including political parties contesting in the Johor polls are reminded to have healthy competition and not belittle new parties.

The Rembau UMNO division deputy chief said that respect should be given to new parties as each party contesting in the polls possesses its own ideas and goals.

“We should not look down (on any party)…(as) all parties have their own idealism and vision, including the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (MUDA), Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) and Parti Warisan…all of them, as well as Pakatan Harapan and Perikatan Nasional, have their own dignity. Therefore, we do not need to underestimate their efforts.

“Everyone is on an equal stage to get votes from the people. There is no need for us to belittle any party…good luck to everyone. We do this (campaigning) in a healthy manner. The ministry also recommends relatively good standard operating procedures (SOP),” he added.

The Election Commission (EC) has set March 12 as polling day for Johor. Early voting is on March 8.


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