AMID TALK OF SNAP GE15 AFTER RAYA IN MAY, KHAIRY THROWS COLD WATER – ELECTIONS CAN BE HELD ONLY ‘BY SEPT AT THE EARLIEST’ ONCE HALF THE POPULATION IS VACCINATED

A GENERAL election can be held once half the country’s population is vaccinated against Covid-19, Khairy Jamaluddin said today.

The science, technology and innovation minister, who is coordinating the national immunisation plan, told Channel NewsAsia the “right time” to hold elections is when 50-60% of the people in Malaysia have received the shots, provided the Health Ministry has brought the coronavirus crisis under control.

“It’s not impossible to imagine it could take place sometime this year… by September at the earliest,” he was quoted as saying.

To immunise half the 32 million people in the country by June, Khairy said vaccination has to proceed at the rate of 150,000 jabs a day.

It is also voluntary but the government aims to immunise at least 80% of the population.

It has spent around RM3 billion on over 66 million doses of vaccines from various pharmaceutical companies, more than enough for the entire population.

The national immunisation plan was launched today after the first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine arrived on Sunday.  Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and director-general of health Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah were the first two people in the country receive the injections.

Malaysia is under emergency rule until August 1, which means elections are suspended.

Critics have accused Muhyiddin of  resorting to emergency laws to avoid elections after losing majority support in parliament.

THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

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