Most vagabonds in Georgetown yet to be vaccinated
1. I have been making the rounds distributing food to the homeless, beggars, and other vagabonds over the weeks and have met many such displaced members of society throughout the city.
2. Most were found lingering around the Kuan Yin Temple and Masjid Kapitan Keling. I also met trishaw riders at their base in Penang Road. I have also distributed food to vagabonds at the Komtar bus terminal.
3. During my conversations with them, I discovered that most, if not all, have not been vaccinated. This came as a shocker to me.
4. However, it is not surprising as most of them do not own a smartphone with the MySejahtera app to register for the vaccination program.
5. Some of them are also mentally and physically impaired. Others have addiction problems.
6. The question is what is being done to reach out to this segment of society. Our officers from the Health Ministry, the Social Welfare Department, and the Penang Government reaching out to these marginalized groups?
7. We always claim that we are a caring society. Are we walking the talk?
8. I have read that 81.8 percent of adult Malaysians or 19.15 million people have been fully vaccinated, That is great news but what about these groups?
9. I am afraid that with the new virus mutations, the government’s efforts to fight the pandemic may fall short.
10. I call on all parties to leave politics aside and immediately get cracking on ensuring the homeless, beggars, and vagabonds plus all others who have been left out of the vaccination program are vaccinated immediately.
11. There must be a concerted effort by the authorities to ensure this is done ASAP.
12. Failure to do so will only dent the government’s effort to achieve herd immunity and turn the situation around in our fight against Covid