Declare amnesty to allow documented and undocumented migrants to get vaccinated - Jannie Lasimbang
3 Sept 2021
KOTA KINABALU: The State Government should take a strong and bold step to ensure that documented and undocumented migrants are vaccinated alongside citizens to reach herd immunity in Sabah, said Kapayan State Assemblywoman Jannie Lasimbang.
She said it is estimated that 26 per cent or more than one million out of Sabah’s 3.88 million population are illegal immigrants of which about 900,000 migrant workers.
While all PPVs (vaccination centres) in the districts have been directed to allow documented and undocumented migrants to be vaccinated, there are still many challenges faced.
She mentioned that she has received reports indicating that very few migrants have stepped forward to be vaccinated and some are turned away because officials are more concerned about their documents than reaching herd immunity.
"The fear of documented and undocumented migrants that they will be turned away or worst, get arrested, is the most significant challenge. It is therefore very important that both the State and Federal governments announce an amnesty to all documented and undocumented migrants who come to get vaccinated. Employers should also be mandated to send their migrant workers to be vaccinated.
"It should also be made clear to all relevant authorities and those working in PPV’s that vaccinating documented and undocumented migrants is important to reach herd immunity and break the COVID19 infection chain.
"Where possible, special PPVs can be set up to avoid any kind of clash with locals, especially where the PPVs have limited space and cannot cater for both citizens and non-citizens," she said in a statement today.
According to Jannie, information to documented and undocumented migrants on the need to download the MySejatera Application and to register themselves to be vaccinated is also non-existent, and should be corrected immediately.
"Such information could be prepared and disseminated by the Information and Broadcasting departments, rather than relying only on the already-overloaded Ministry of Health to do this.
"But considering the numerous difficulties by both citizens and non-citizens to download the MySejatera Application and register to receive appointments to be vaccinated, the government should seriously consider those who walk in to register on the spot."