KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - 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're not vaccinated by choice.
"If you cannot be vaccinated, that's fine. We give MySejahtera digital exemption," he said after officiating the 11th National Acute Myocardial Infarction Course by the Serdang Hospital on Saturday (Oct 16).
The painful points, he said, would go beyond just being unable to dine in at restaurants or enter shopping centres.
Some of the painful points under the National Testing Strategy will be unveiled next week. There are also plans to mandate those who are unvaccinated by choice to undergo regular Covid-19 testing.
"If you choose not to vaccinate, then 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, we have discussed it for a long time, that there have been parents who are concerned about sending their children back to school as there are teachers who still refuse to be vaccinated.
"That's why we 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," he said.
Such sectoral mandates, he added, should also be practised in the private sector for those who need to work in the office.
Meanwhile, those who need a booster shot of the Covid-19 vaccine in order to perform the umrah can apply to the Health Ministry. The same applies to those who need a particular booster shot in order to meet the requirements of other countries they are travelling to.
"The ministry will consider the applications that include those who need a booster dose which is of a different brand from the first two jabs they received.
"The application can be done through MySejahtera. This month, we may start with the booster for those who need it to go to another country," Khairy said, adding that Malaysia is also 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.