Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow apologized to all parties following the controversy over the contribution of the Covid-19 vaccine to the people of the state from a private company. Kon Yeow, as reported by Bernama, said the matter was seen as a very unfortunate development because it was not the intention of the state government to go to war with any party, including the Federal Government.
However, he said, the issue of offering to donate two million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Penang became a controversy that deviated from the original purpose of the state government. He mentioned that the main goal at the moment is to get additional vaccine supplies at an immediate rate due to the sharp increase in cases to ensure that the vaccination process can be accelerated in order to protect lives and save the economy of the people of the state as a whole. He continued,
“Therefore, I take this opportunity to apologize for the outbreak of this controversy and hope that we will continue all efforts in facing the next Covid-19 pandemic challenge for the benefit of all the people in the country. I would like to stress once again that the real issue here is the procurement of vaccine supplies for the people of Penang.”
The Penang State Executive Council (MMK) has also discussed this controversy and decided to focus on the best approach in obtaining vaccine supplies in the near future to meet the demand of the people of this state to receive vaccines immediately. The MMK decided to use state government funds to buy additional vaccines to be sent immediately in addition to those that will be supplied by the Federal Government for the benefit and use of the people of Penang.
For that purpose, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow has also sent a letter to the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Khairy Jamaluddin today to obtain permission to purchase vaccines directly by the state government from suppliers approved by the Federal Government in the country or directly from vaccine companies.