PUTRAJAYA, June 10 — The COVID-19 vaccination exercise for the media, which began today, will be expanded nationwide to ensure more than 4,000 media personnel in the list of recipients receive their shots, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said.
“I am grateful to YB Khairy Jamaluddin (Coordinating Minister of the COVID-19 National Immunisation Programme) and Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba (Minister of Health) for focusing on the media.
“At the same time, media personnel who already have vaccination appointments secured, do not skip (the appointment). You don’t have to wait for the media group vaccination exercise,” he said when witnessing the first group of 98 media personnel receive their COVID-19 vaccine first dose at Dewan Seri Seroja here today.
Asked on the call by the National Union of Journalists of Peninsular Malaysia (NUJM) for media personnel who have yet to be vaccinated to refrain from going for any field reporting or coverage in public places, Saifuddin said he had received NUJ’s letter and will be looking into the matter.
“I will bring this matter to be discussed with Yang Berhormat Khairy Jamaluddin and Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba. I do understand the need,” he said.
Saifuddin said the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) had requested for media personnel to be given priority for vaccination as they were active in the field, similar to other frontliners as well.
“But I do understand that the Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee have their own way of doing things,” he said.
Meanwhile, on the police report lodged over the “All Together Now Malaysia” programme aired by private broadcaster Astro recently, he said the ministry has asked the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to investigate the matter.
Saifuddin said he was informed that the recording was done before the first phase of the Movement Control Order (MCO) 3.0 was enforced, and that the recording session had been approved by the National Film Development Corporation (Finas).
“So, in terms of timing, recording is allowed, and there is approval as well.
“It is just that MCMC will now investigate if there had been standard operating procedure (SOP) violations during the recording process. Astro has decided to postpone the programme and I think that is a good decision,” he said.