Malaysia to get tough on those who refuse jab without valid reasons

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian government will dish out doses of discomfort to those who do not have valid reasons to refuse a Covid-19 vaccination, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

"Sorry to say, we will make life very difficult for you if you are not vaccinated by choice."

The painful points, he said, would go beyond being unable to dine at restaurants or enter shopping centres, adding that some of the conditions under the national testing strategy would be unveiled next week.

There are plans to mandate those who are unvaccinated by choice to undergo regular Covid-19 testing.

"If you choose not to vaccinate, we will probably ask you to do regular tests that you have to pay for," he said.

"Although Malaysia is unlikely to mandate vaccination at the national level, it is seriously looking at sectoral mandates.

"For example, and we have discussed it for a long time, there are parents concerned about sending their children back to school as there are teachers who still refuse to be vaccinated.

"That is why we have found that it cannot be just for the education sector, but also the public sector. So the Public Service Department's director-general has issued a circular, whereby beginning November, it will be mandatory for all civil servants to be vaccinated."

Such sectoral mandates, he added, should also be practised in the private sector for those who need to work in the office.

Meanwhile, Mr Khairy said Malaysia is liaising with destination countries to ensure there is no discrimination against certain vaccines as long as they have been approved by the World Health Organisation for emergency use. - THE STAR