By Bernie Yeo
KHAIRY Jamaluddin’s urge for Malaysians to put their faith in science rather than conspiracy theories when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccines is a commendable thing to do in his capacity as the country’s Science, Technology and Innovation minister.
From a political standpoint, however, one cannot help but think that this does not feel right. Khairy is, after all, a minister who is appointed by the Perikatan Nasional government that is, by itself, shrouded in conspiracies.
Given the Government’s track record when it comes to accountability, asking the public to put their trust in politicians is a rather poorly-made move.
Such an advice would have carried more weight and conviction had it come from scientists and civil servants who can do a better job of carrying out their responsibilities without having to deal with the political side of things.
In a statement on his website www.khairykj.com, the Science, Technology and Innovation Minister stressed that the vaccines obtained by Malaysia are safe and effective, and have been tested upon tens of thousands of recipients prior to being approved.
He also emphasised that the vaccines do not contain any microchips that can take over our thoughts, and refuted the claim is it an Illuminati agenda to establish a New World Order.
“Science must win,” he added as he urged people to trust science and not believe the conspiracy theories that cited fake sources as viralled in WhatsApp groups.
Conspiracy theories notwithstanding, there remains much to be done by the Malaysian Government to convince the public to have faith in science.
After all, as Khairy so aptly puts it, with the faith in science and the vaccine, the country would be able to get as many people vaccinated as possible, which would subsequently see a reduction of COVID-19 infections and the number of people in Intensive Care Units (ICU).
While there are lessons to be learn from advanced countries in terms of containing and controlling the spread of the virus, and in treating and caring for their patients, there also needs to be transparency, and above all, substantial evidence of how advanced countries who have purchased the same vaccines from the same manufacturers as Malaysia have been coping with the vaccine rollout. – Feb 16, 2021