Letter to Editor
By Datuk William Ng
On Sunday August 1 2021, Pearl View Hotel, a vaccination centre (PPV) in Seberang Prai issued notices to some small and medium enterprises (SME) owners and their employees that their appointments for COVID-19 vaccination was cancelled.
This is despite the SME owners having paid RM90 per employee to the PPV under PIKAS. Among these are members of the Small & Medium Enterprises Association (SAMENTA) Malaysia.
The Pearl View PPV is run by the SME association (unrelated to SAMENTA) and has since issued a notice of a temporary closure of the PPV for what they blame as ‘shortage of vaccine supply’ and ‘a technical glitch on MITI’s platform resulting in double booking’.
This situation is quite unfortunate. SAMENTA have since clarified with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), who has confirmed no shortage of vaccine nor any ‘technical glitch resulting in double booking’.
Therefore, we urge the PPV concerned to explain the problem and what steps it will be taking to prevent similar problems from occurring.
Since March 2021, SAMENTA has worked closely with MITI to gather and prepare SMEs nationwide for this economic front-liner vaccination programme, so that our economic sectors can be re-opened safely as soon as possible.
Since end of June 2021, our members have been receiving appointments for their employees for vaccination in various designated PPVs.
We have not encountered any issue of vaccine shortage or technical glitch whatsoever until now. PIKAS has been professionally managed, and credits must be given to MITI and the Special Committee on COVID-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) for this seamless roll-out.
Our members who are affected by this incident has been given new appointments at another PPV, following our intervention through MITI.
SAMENTA again urges the National Security Council (MKN) to re-open the economic sector as soon as 80 percent of Malaysians in each state is vaccinated with at least a single dose. We must not wait until phase 4 of the National Recovery Plan (PPN), when 49 percent of all SMEs could have collapsed.
Lastly, we urge SMEs who have not registered for PIKAS to consider doing so via www.miti.gov.my. The sooner we reach herd immunity, the faster and safer it will be for us to re-start the economy and protect the lives and livelihood of Malaysians.
Datuk William Ng is the chairman of SAMENTA Central and chairman of Policy and Government Relations, SAMENTA.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.