KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26 — Bukit Gasing assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakaran questioned why Selangor had to pay more for the Sinovac vaccine from Pharmaniaga Bhd than the federal government that bought it from its Chinese maker.
The DAP assemblyman said the local pharmaceutical company should not have charged more for the Covid-19 vaccines when Selangor had purchased them to “do something good”.
Pharmaniaga was the local distributor of Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine.
“The Selangor government’s vaccine cost is RM127 million for 1.25 million doses bought from Pharmaniaga, but the federal government paid RM3.9 billion for 79.9 million doses.
“Why is there such a high disparity?” said Rajiv during the debate session at the Selangor State Assembly today, referring to an answer given in Parliament on July 27.
He then asked if this could be brought to the federal level for clarification.
Rajiv was not the first to question this disparity. His DAP colleague, Bakri MP Yeo Bee Yin, previously raised the matter and sought clarification from Khairy Jamaluddin, who was then the coordinating minister of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK).
Yeo had, during the special Parliament sitting on July 29, asked the minister to verify if six states including Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Sabah, Sarawak and Selangor, which booked six million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from Pharmaniaga, were being overcharged.
Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had also reportedly condemned the idea of commercial business behind the Covid-19 vaccines when they should have been provided to the people for free.
As of August 22, over 6.6 million people or 89.7 per cent of adults in the Klang Valley have gotten at least one dose.
More than 5.1 million people or 83.8 per cent of adults residing in the Klang Valley have already completed their vaccination with two doses.
On the national level, Malaysia has vaccinated 78 per cent of adults with at least one dose and 55.6 per cent of adults have gotten two doses.