Malaysian police officers who refuse to receive a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine will have to leave the force,” Abdul Bador, the country’s Inspector General of Police told state news agency Bernama on Friday.
“Our source of reference is the MoH (Ministry of Health), not a shaman or any deviant scholar,” Bador said when asked about reports that some police officers said they would refuse to be vaccinated. However, the Health Minister, Adham Baba said that Malaysia started vaccinating against COVID-19 in February and that about 250,000 doses had been administered as of March 11.
Baba also reported that the virus-related death toll had risen to 1,203. After a surge late last year in daily cases, Malaysia declared a state of emergency and imposed a second lockdown in January. Although the lockdown has since been eased, penalties remained for breaching the government regulations on the pandemic. Baba said that 330 people had been fined the maximum 10,000 ringgit (2,400 US dollars) since the start of the second lockdown.
He added that a law announced on Thursday means the police can “take immediate action” against anyone accused of publishing ‘fake news’ about the pandemic and the government’s emergency rule.