20th February 2021
AN ALL-MALAYSIANS WAR AGAINST COVID-19
Patriot applauds our government’s effort to secure and procure the Covid-19 vaccines for the people of Malaysia. The scourge of the pandemic has now claimed 1,043 lives and a total of 277,811 have been confirmed infected. Conquering this pandemic is not just the government’s effort alone, but an all-Malaysians one.
It has been reported that Sarawak will be the first in the country to receive the Pfizer-BionTech mRNA vaccine and the rollout date is 27 February 2021, starting with the front liners and to be followed by those aged 60 and above and with co-morbid diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.
Patriot is fully supportive of our government’s vaccination programme and believe in the need for the vaccination process to begin at the soonest date possible. However, given the wealth of new data now becoming available from the US and UK government websites that show an increasing number of adverse reactions, including deaths, and the number of reported deaths in nursing homes in Europe after the elderly inmates were vaccinated; we Patriots are deeply concerned for our fellow Malaysians.
We appeal for good sense to prevail. Those in the health authorities must study carefully and in great details on the efficacy and safety of the vaccines. They must not be party to hype the benefits. They must be absolutely sure that there can be no serious harm to befall on our people. Symptoms like mild allergy, fever, chill, mild fatigue, dizziness, etc., that are common with most vaccination programme are acceptable. Serious harm such as blindness, paralysis, heart attack, stroke, and death that are attributable to the vaccine is not acceptable even if it is only a single case. This is because a vaccine is supposed to immunise and has preventive effect, not otherwise.
There have been news reports and also videos circulated in social media of seemingly healthy persons, including healthcare personnel, succumbed to death and developed serious nervous system disorder within days of receiving the vaccine. This has scared the wits of many. Be assured that we Patriots do not believe in conspiracy nor the illuminati theories. We sincerely want the wellbeing of Malaysians to be protected.
We understand that the pharmaceutical companies have demanded legal immunity from any harm caused by their vaccines. Even if we have to accede to their demand, our own government has to assume responsibilities from any serious harm caused by the vaccine. There must be a compensation scheme made known to the public.
Our health officials should not continue to hide by the standard assurance, “benefits outweigh the small risk”. We acknowledge the benefits of vaccination. We also acknowledge the necessity of achieving herd immunity as an important mean to overcome the pandemic. However, it is better to be truthful and admit that there may be some serious adverse reactions and the health authorities must give assurance they will do their best to prevent that.
We implore our MoH to seriously consider other treatment measures, conventional and traditional/complementary therapies, as an adjunct to the vaccination. The argument that these other therapies are not evidence-based is a lame one. Lives are at stake and the death toll continue to rise. A concurrent death is our economy. Fighting a war, as in this pandemic, requires a multi-prong attack. The use of anything and everything that has some promise of effectiveness is crucial, and we have nothing to lose.
Moreover, we need an all-Malaysians combat against this scourge that is destroying our livelihood and economy. We need our government and officials to be truthful and be open to the people. This war against Covid-19 is a war we fight together.
BG Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji (Rtd)
Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan