Tommy Thomas says he would have made sure Malaysia ‘first in line’ for vaccine supply if still AG in March 2020

(MMO) – Tan Sri Tommy Thomas today said he would have advised the government to swiftly start efforts to secure Covid-19 vaccine supplies if he were still the attorney general and Pakatan Harapan still the government in March to May last year.

In an interview with Astro Awani’s talk show Consider This, Thomas was asked by the programme co-host Melisa Idris if he thought it would be difficult for Malaysia to exit the nationwide state of Emergency — which came into effect on January 11 and is scheduled to end August 1.

Thomas directed the focus to Malaysia’s grim Covid-19 figures instead, and emphasised the importance of Covid-19 vaccines.

“No problem, as I see it, revoking it is two minutes. It’s very easy to revoke the Emergency. But let me say, that I think a lot of discussions today, six months later, on the Emergency is with the greatest respect, misplaced.

“Because I think today Malaysians are fighting — some of them for their lives — we know hundreds of people are in ICUs, in hospitals, and we’ve got 6,000 to 7,000 cases a day, so that has transformed the situation substantially.

“So to me, the focus is, the critical question is, why have we not sufficient vaccines?” he asked during the show earlier tonight. Malaysia today exceeded 8,000 daily new Covid-19 cases for the first time.

Thomas then shared what he would have done as the AG early last year during the Covid-19 crisis in Malaysia if he was still holding the position under a Pakatan Harapan federal government.

He stepped down on February 28, 2020 as AG, just four days after Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad resigned as the prime minister of the PH government, which had collapsed by then.

“What I would have done 18 months ago, shortly after March, because by February, March we were already discussing Covid-19, the health minister Dr Dzulkefly (Ahmad), myself and Tun Mahathir, we knew about the problem but it was just starting.

“What I would have said, if we were still in power as early as March, April or May, I would have gone and said ‘look, the only solution is vaccine’. Common sense would tell you vaccine is the solution.

“So we must authorise me the AG as the lawyer for the government and a few others to go and start having contracts with all the companies of this world to get the vaccines, so that when the vaccines were out — they were out by December last year — we are first in the line.

“So to me, the US, UK, Israel are three examples that vaccines have really helped solve the problem. We are far behind as it is,” he said.