A majority of the population in Malaysia had been vaccinated against Covid-19 and the country is more resilient in facing the latest Covid-19 waves. However, both Perikatan Nasional (PN) and Barisan Nasional (BN) are racing to claim the credit.
In several campaigns for the Johor polls, leaders from PN have would often ask if those in attendance have been vaccinated. They will then claim the credit, saying that it was the party’s chairperson Muhyiddin Yassin’s decision to purchase a large stock of Covid-19 vaccine when he was the prime minister.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has responded to those claims and said that the free Covid-19 vaccination programme should not be used as campaign material for the Johor state election.
He said that the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) is the federal government’s initiative and not of any political parties.
“The government should take credit for it. There is no need to use it as election campaign material,” he said when being asked about PN’s campaign that claims that the free vaccines are their initiative, reported Bernama.
Khairy also said that all parties contesting in the Johor polls, including political parties, are reminded to have healthy competition and not belittle new parties.
He also said that respect should be given to new parties, as each party contesting in the polls possesses its own ideas and goals.
“We should not look down on any party… as all parties have their own idealism and vision, including the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (MUDA), Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) and Parti Warisan…all of them, as well as Pakatan Harapan and Perikatan Nasional, have their own dignity. Therefore, we do not need to underestimate their efforts.”
“Everyone is on an equal stage to get votes from the people. There is no need for us to belittle any party…good luck to everyone. We do this campaigning in a healthy manner. The ministry also recommends relatively good standard operating procedures (SOP),” he said.
The polling day in Johor is set on 12 March, and early voting is on 8 March.