White Paper to study Covid-19 vaccine procurement, says Health Ministry

PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry will set up a task force to draft a White Paper on Covid-19 vaccine procurement, following instructions from the Cabinet.

Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said the White Paper would examine if the previous administrations’ Covid-19 vaccine procurement process was transparent.

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“This follows initial findings from the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) and the Legal Affairs Division of the Prime Minister’s Department, which conducted due diligence, particularly on the terms of agreement on the supply of Covid-19 vaccines that were signed and drafted during the Emergency period,” Dr Zaliha said in a statement Friday (Feb 10).

“Following the Cabinet decision, the ministry will ensure all procurement, including of Covid-19 vaccines, will be undertaken with greater care and integrity as well as ensure benefits for the government,” she added.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said on Wednesday (Feb 8) that certain parts of the vaccine procurement process were signed off by the relevant minister without approval or agreement of the Attorney General.

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He did not specify which minister was involved when asked who had signed it.

Two ministers were put in charge of Covid-19 pandemic-related matters as well as the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba was the health minister in Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s government from March 10, 2020 to Aug 16, 2021 while Khairy Jamaluddin was science, technology and innovation minister. They swapped portfolios in Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s Cabinet in late August 2021.