Problems of anti-vaxxers self-inflicted, says PM

Ismail Sabri Yaakob says it is not the government that is deliberately making things difficult.

(Malaysia Now) – The government has no intention of causing hardship to the people, and the problems facing those who are against Covid-19 vaccines are due to their own attitude, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today.

He said the Covid-19 vaccination, although not yet compulsory, had helped make life easier for those who had received the vaccine, in activities such as travelling.

“Those who do not take the vaccine are making life difficult for themselves, it is not the government that is deliberately making it difficult… that is why I urge those who have not yet received the vaccine to do so, so that they can also get to enjoy the facilities.

“Furthermore, as human beings we have a responsibility to help protect others by reducing the risk of infection and reducing the severity of the effects of the disease, if infected, by taking the Covid-19 vaccine,” he said at a press conference today.

Yesterday, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin was reported to have said that the government would take a stern approach to those who refused to take the vaccine, by “continuing to impose various difficulties” on them.

According to the prime minister, the health minister in making the statement was referring to the problems that would continue to be faced by those who refuse the vaccine as the requirement for individuals to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 is not only imposed by the Malaysian government, but by other quarters and countries as well.

“For example, only those who are fully vaccinated are allowed to perform umrah, and next year, to perform the haj pilgrimage. This is a condition set by the Saudi Arabian government, which of course makes it difficult for those who are not vaccinated,” he said.

When asked whether the conditions for the recruitment of civil servants would include the candidates being fully vaccinated, Ismail said it was a good suggestion, but that the matter needs to be thoroughly considered by the Public Service Department (JPA).

“It may be considered, but the JPA has to look into various aspects, including legally. So far, action can only be taken against those who are already in the service as the deadline for civil servants to take the vaccine is Nov 1,” he added.