Khairy Warns Anti-Vaxxers: We Will Make Life 'Difficult' For You

The message, he said, is clear: get yourself vaccinated against COVID-19.

Cover image via Azneal Ishak/Malaysiakini

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Earlier today, 16 October, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin warned that while the COVID-19 vaccine is not mandatory in Malaysia, those who refuse to be inoculated may find their life to be more difficult

"We may not implement a federal law to make it compulsory to vaccinate nationally but I encourage for a sectoral law. Perhaps it may sound a little bit crude but our approach is to 'make life difficult' for those who choose not to vaccinate (against COVID-19)," Utusan Malaysia quoted Khairy as saying.

He said that the government is taking this approach due to the choices made by anti-vaxxers.

"If you cannot be vaccinated on health grounds, that's fine and we will give (digital) exemption through MySejahtera. But if you don't vaccinate yourself by choice, we will continue to make life difficult for you."

Image via Utusan Malaysia

The message, he said, is clear: get yourself vaccinated

"You cannot dine in restaurants, you cannot go into shopping centres. If you choose not to vaccinate yourself, then we will probably have to ask you to do regular tests that you have to pay for," he said.

More restrictions are expected to be implemented against those who refuse the vaccine.

New Straits Times reported that Khairy will be releasing the national testing strategy next week, where a mandate for unvaccinated people to pay for their weekly self-test would be mapped out.

The Health Minister's warning comes a day after he called on the police and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to speed up investigations against anti-vaccination groups.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has lodged several police reports against these groups, Khairy said, adding that despite it all the anti-vaxxers continue threatening to disrupt public health efforts.

Separately, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that while they have not yet made COVID-19 vaccination mandatory, those who have not taken it are encouraged so they can enjoy various privileges

"Even for matters of worship such as performing the Umrah (minor Haj) it is also mandatory by the Saudi Arabian government, I am confident that the same condition will be imposed for permission to perform the Haj which is expected to start next year," Malay Mail quoted Ismail as saying today, 16 October.

"The Public Service Department has issued instructions to civil servants to take the vaccine otherwise action will be taken. MINDEF (the Ministry of Defence)... has issued a directive that whoever (military personnel) does not take the vaccine is considered to be violating MINDEF's directive, so this gives a picture that it is obligatory," he said, adding that stern action should be taken against anti-vaccine groups.

Remember to limit your movement and keep practising physical distancing. Find out the latest COVID-19 updates on the Ministry of Health's COVIDNOW website.

Meanwhile, Ismail has announced new relaxations for travellers returning or coming to Malaysia starting Monday, 18 October:

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