KOTA KINABALU, Oct 12 — The Sabah government should establish a “penalty-reward system” to increase the vaccination rate in the state, said Tuaran Umno chief Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
“For example in order to qualify for state government financial assistance, the recipients must show they have been fully vaccinated. This penalty-reward system is necessary because the government’s efforts to appeal to the people to be vaccinated are sometimes ineffective in certain situations,” he stressed in a Facebook posting on Monday.
He claimed that the state’s full vaccination statistics are far behind due to some of the rakyat in Sabah who do not want to be vaccinated or are indifferent to the importance of getting vaccinated even though they have the opportunity to get the vaccines through outreach programmes of the Ministry of Health.
This penalty-reward system is already used worldwide. Even at the Malaysian level, this system has been used. For example, only Malaysians who have a complete vaccination are allowed to go out to eat in restaurants as well as travel out of the country and across the country,” said Abdul Rahman.
“I urge the Chief Minister of Sabah to ask state government agencies to see and learn from the successes achieved by the Ministry of Health Malaysia, especially in terms of empowering and facilitating outreach/outreach programmes.
“Sarawak with its topography and geography which is also so challenging has left Sabah far behind in terms of vaccination rates. I also hope that the Chief Minister will consider a penalty-reward system to increase compliance for vaccination among Sabahans,” the Umno Supreme Council member said.
As of Oct 10, the statistics from the Health Ministry showed that 48.3 per cent of residents in Sabah are fully vaccinated and it projects that only 80 per cent of the State’s population will be fully vaccinated by April 23, 2022 (194 days from now).
“If we look at the statistics of adults (18 years old and above) in Sabah, the number of those fully vaccinated is 65.1 per cent and the figure is projected to increase to 80 per cent on Dec 29 this year and 100 per cent in June next year.
“And since inter-district travel and full re-opening of the economic sector will only be allowed when more than 80 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated, I suggest that the state government introduce two new strategies in this matter,” said Abdul Rahman.
Firstly, the state government should allow inter-district travel to areas in which residents are 80 per cent fully vaccinated, he said.
“For example, places like Kota Kinabalu and its surrounding areas which have a 80 per cent fully vaccinated rate. These areas are packed with manufacturing industries and tourism industries,” he said.
Abdul Rahman opined that this will revive all industries and thus reduce unemployment as well as ease economic hardship for the people of Sabah. — Borneo Post Online