KUALA LUMPUR (March 21): Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah has expressed his intention to take the Covid-19 vaccine together with media practitioners.
However, he is still waiting for the vaccination date to be fixed by the Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee.
“I don’t know (the date), it’s really up to the schedule. By right, I should have been vaccinated by now but I requested for Sinovac and to take it together with the journalists,” he told reporters after attending the Jelajah Malaysia Prihatin programme at the Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) in Sentul today.
Saifuddin said he had appealed to the Coordinating Minister for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme Khairy Jamaluddin and Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba to prioritise media practitioners as vaccine recipients.
“They (Khairy and Adham) said they will try to give priority to journalists but not together with the frontliners. They understand that journalists, cameramen and photographers are always on the ground meeting people,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said the encouragement for the public to watch movies and support the local film industry was not merely for entertainment but also to help ensure the survival of the industry players.
Saifuddin said he realised that there were some quarters who criticised the suggestion but currently, there were 30,000 individuals who rely solely on income from filming activities, 5,000 employees in cinemas and 10,000 individuals involved in the music industry.
“No filming means no job. So, I hope the people understand (why they need) to support local films. This is not about entertainment but this is their source of income and if the activities are halted, they will suffer,” he said.
Asked about the method of selecting recipients for device assistance through the MYBAIKHATI campaign, Saifuddin said the ministry would use the data of the eligible B40 group based on the list prepared by the Inland Revenue Board.
The campaign, which is among the focus of the Strategic Plan to Empower the People and the Economy (PEMERKASA), uses the concept of crowdsourcing, which will involve collecting donations of used devices from businesses and individuals through selected branches of six telecommunications companies.
Earlier, Saifuddin took part in the ‘Sembang Warung’ programme with local community leaders from the Seri Perak Public Housing Resident Association, Persatuan Wanita Ibu dan Anak-Anak Kuala Lumpur (Pewanida), Badan Amal Warga Asnaf (BAWA) for Batu parliamentary constituency, Sentul UTC Traders’ Association and Amru Ibni Al-As Mosque committee.
The programme was held to explain the government’s initiatives and measures, as well as the implementation of the Emergency Proclamation, in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic.