Govt to Ensure Vaccine Allocations, Expenditures to Continue Post-Emergency Ordinance

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will ensure all obligations, acquisitions and national expenditures related to vaccines and the national COVID-19 immunisation programme are carried out post-Emergency Ordinance.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz, who is also Coordinating Minister for Malaysia’s National Recovery Plan (PPN), said it is important to ensure the continuity of the vaccination programme for the people.

“I hope all quarters can cooperate to ensure the success of the PPN. We need a ‘whole of nation’ approach, whereby apart from the government, the private sector and the people have their roles to play,” he said on the TV programme Agenda Awani on Astro Awani.

The government is also discussing, at the PPN and National Security Council (MKN) levels, the possibility of opening economic sectors to those who have completed their vaccination, the minister revealed.

He added that the discussions have been more focused on the sectors which are safe to be reopened, although previously at PPN Phase One and Two, the government had felt they were not ready to be opened due to low vaccination rates.

“The PPN is a dynamic plan which uses the latest data and developments. We will continue to focus on a safe social and economic reopening,” he said.

Apart from that, the finance minister highlighted the importance of coordination among all ministries in ensuring the effectiveness of the PPN.

“Coordination is important because all the ministries and government machinery need to focus on the same milestone for the PPN to be successful. We need to find a balance between the economy and health in a short period of time. The National Recovery Council (MPN) is the main body that assesses and decides on strategies and coordinates the necessary actions encompassing various ministries. It is aided by a technical committee. At the technical level, we discuss threshold values in greater detail.” 

Underlining three main factors in the success of the PPN, Tengku Zafrul said the first factor is better coordination among the ministries, especially issues regarding standard operating procedures (SOPs), vaccination, ICU capacity and also fiscal and non-fiscal support by the government.

“Secondly, the involvement of various quarters, including industry experts and state representatives such as those from Sabah and Sarawak in sharing ideas and expertise. Thirdly, we need to do close monitoring based on ‘live data’ which is more stable and effective,” he added.