DAP Tan laments glitches, rakyat feels short-changed and furious over recent AstraZeneca registration fiasco

Julian Tan

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KUCHING, May 28: Covid-19 cases in Malaysia are at all time high yet the vaccination programmes are still plagued with glitches having cost taxpayers three times the recommended price by the World Health Organisation (WHO), opined special assistant to Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen, Julian Tan.

Tan said the recent AstraZeneca (AZ) registration fiasco was nothing but expected and there were many warning signs that the systems do not have the resiliency for upscale as more people now are aware of the benefit of AZ vaccine and rushing to get themselves registered on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“On the May 22, another system issue occurred, which also caused delays and long queues at registration counters in all the vaccination centres (PPV). As a result, the vaccination figure dropped to around 45,000 doses compared to the previous high, at more than 80,000 doses.

“After the second round AZ registration fiasco, the RM70 million National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NCIP) data integration and appointment system also came into question,” he said in a press statement today.

Tan noted many experts in the field deem it substandard, with many ‘unacceptable’ rookie mistakes which glitches like that day are only waiting to happen.

He said based on WHO recommendations, a similar total solution system should not cost more than RM20 million.

“At RM70 million, it is more than three times the recommended price. We should be getting a premium product, from a technical aspect down to having a seamless user experience. Sadly, that is not the case,” he added.

At the same time, he said, the ‘rakyat’ have been severely short-changed and furious as this is a critical time that such oversight failure potentially put people’s lives at risk, and there seems to be no improvement to the MySejahtera apps, despite knowing that out of the 31,776 who got their appointments, more than 50 per cent (18,215) failed to respond.

According to Tan, further investigation into the matter by JKJAV shows that about 30 per cent of people did not know that they received their appointments via the app. A further 15 per cent did not know they needed to confirm their appointment.

“How can a premium total solution system that had cost taxpayers RM70 million still have those eagerly waiting for vaccination to miss their appointment? To rub salt into the wound, the hotlines were hard to access.

“At this stage, those who missed the appointments are those of the high-risk groups. They are the elderly and those with comorbidity and underlying diseases. Most, until now, still failed to get their reappointment.

“How many of the near 20’000 infected with Covid-19 during this waiting period? And of those infected with Covid-19, how many have been hospitalised? Has the RM70 million systems failed us?,” he questioned.

He reiterated the MySejahtera should incorporate the ‘Hard to miss’ urgent notification alert into the first ‘check-in’ screen.

“The MySejatera apps should be able to cater to all regardless of their level of tech-savviness. We expect a no-brainer from a system that costs us RM70 million or three times the WHO recommended cost.

“It appears there is a mismatch, the eagerness of the rakyat to get vaccinated versus the ‘lack of the spirit of excellence’ from the government execution and oversight,” he said. — DayakDaily