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Healthcare workers collect swab samples to test for Covid-19 at the Selcare Clinic in Shah Alam June 24, 2021. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Healthcare workers collect swab samples to test for Covid-19 at the Selcare Clinic in Shah Alam June 24, 2021. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 1 — The commitment and support of various parties, including politicians, and especially MPs, is needed to realise the National Recovery Plan (PPN) for Malaysia to emerge stronger from the Covid-19 crisis, says Political and Social Media Analyst Assoc Prof Dr Sara Chinnasamy.

She said all politicians should set aside their political ideologies and come forward to help the government and prioritise the people’s agenda through the PPN.

She said so far, the MPs were not seen to be giving it their maximum during the implementation of movement controls and the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK).

“The ongoing vaccination process has not yet garnered full support among politicians and political parties, where they too, can come forward to support and mobilise the vaccination programmes in their respective areas,” she said in a special online interview with the media today.

The lecturer at the Faculty of Communication and Media Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Shah Alam said apart from politicians, political parties and community leaders also need to work together and support the PPN.

She also questioned the level of cooperation among political leaders, elected representatives and community leaders to get people registered for vaccination in their respective areas, and suggested for volunteer teams to be set up to assist in mobilising PICK.

The PPN announced on June 15 outlined four phases of transition, with detailed SOPs for each phase, where moving from one phase to another would be determined based on three key threshold value indicators, namely average number of daily cases, bed utilisation rate at Intensive Care Unit (ICU) wards and the percentage of adults who are fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, Sara said Malaysia stood on par with developed countries in terms of assistance and vaccination programmes, which has seen a total of 20,533,660 doses of vaccine administered in the country as of yesterday.

She also said the efforts of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government to provide various assistance and incentives to the people in facing the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic since March 2020 were comparable to developed countries such as Canada and the United States.

According to her, the PN government under the leadership of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is open to accepting suggestions from other parties, and this has been proven by the fact that there have been improvements made every time a new aid package is announced.

Touching on the 2022 Budget expected to be announced this October, Sara said the focus should be on the national health sector, including a larger allocation to the Ministry of Health (MOH) to upgrade medical infrastructure, absorb contract health workers into permanent positions and provide assistance to the frontliners as a token of appreciation. — Bernama

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