Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Home Minister Hamzah Zainuddin suggested using sedition laws against anti-vaxxers

MM Online:

Not all who don’t want to be vaccinated against Covid-19 are anti-vaxxers, and why listening is the best way to get them to do so

Members of the public receive their Covid-19 shot through the MYMedic@Wilayah Vaccine Mobile Truck programme at PPR Sg. Bonus in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur June 21, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, June 22 — Mok Keng Yew, 76, said he has little to no qualms about getting vaccinated... but just don’t give him Pfizer.

His distrust of the vaccine made by the American pharmaceutical giant is driven by what’s inside it, or at least what he thinks is inside it.

Mok, a retiree, was told the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had synthetic components. Given his age, he said he feared it would have dangerous side effects that could kill him.

“I only trust the vaccines that are made like other vaccines such as AstraZeneca and Sinovac but not Pfizer which is synthetic,” he replied when asked about how he felt about Covid-19 vaccines.

“I don’t trust synthetic vaccines which stay in your body for life. You don’t know the effects it causes 20, 30 years later.”

As pandemic fatigue sets in and people are desperate to resume normal life, any signs of vaccine-wariness — even as harmless as asking about side-effects — are likely to be met with disdain.

To the many eager to get inoculated, Mok is likely to be called an “anti-vaxxer”, a name for those with a penchant for outlandish conspiracy theories and opposed to all forms of vaccination.

Yet Mok fits none of these descriptions.

Throughout his life, he has been vaccinated several times and agrees they’re necessary against diseases.

So he registered for AstraZeneca when the government offered those above 60 the opportunity to opt in for the vaccine last month. Mok got his first shot on June 10.

Then there is FL, 81, a retired civil servant who has many comorbidities and does not trust the government to administer vaccines.

“I would prefer to pay for it at a private hospital, I don’t trust the government. If it won’t cause any side effects to my health, I will take it, but only at a private clinic or hospital, I don’t mind paying for it,” he explained.

So, in his case, it is not the vaccine he distrusts.

Quite a few of the above 60s who refuse to be vaccinated are simply fearful of side effects as they think they may actually get seriously ill or die from them.

“I’ve heard those who took Sinovac did not have side effects so I would prefer to have a choice. People told me AstraZeneca might cause blood clots so I don’t want it. I only trust vaccines from China,” said one 78-year-old woman who eventually agreed to register for vaccination as she hopes she will receive the Sinovac vaccine.

Despite efforts to ramp up vaccinations in the country, only over 13.5 million people have signed up for the national immunisation programme, still less than half of the country’s 33 million population.

The Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) had initially aimed for herd immunity by the first quarter of 2022, but later expressed confidence that it could be achieved by December 2021 given the increasing rate of shots it has administered to date, now reaching over 200,000 daily.

People receive their vaccine at the Covid-19 vaccination centre at the Mines International Exhibition and Convention Centre, Seri Kembangan, June 17, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

But there is mounting concern that the low rate of vaccination sign-up could hinder progress, and fuel doubt that the government could meet its target even by February next year.

Some government leaders like Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin believe anti-vaxxers could be among the main factors causing the poor registration rate, prompting talks of coming down hard on those found speaking against vaccination.

Hamzah had suggested using sedition laws against them.

But some experts believe such punitive measures could be counterproductive, more so when the authorities are still unable to differentiate those who totally oppose vaccination and people like Mok and others who are not necessarily against vaccines but are hesitant for various reasons.

This makes recognising and acknowledging the distinction between the two groups paramount if the government wants to have a chance at persuading them to get their shots, according to Zeti Azreen Ahmad, an assistant professor with the International Islamic University Malaysia’s department of communication.

Understanding that they are not homogenous would be the first step, she suggested, because “we understand there are distinct ways to communicate with different sets of people, which is far more effective than being dismissive or resorting to stereotyping.”

“The goal of communication is not only to educate the ‘hesitant’ or to debunk misconceptions but also to strengthen resilience among those who have a positive view of vaccination against the opposite messages,” she told Malay Mail.

“Those who hold a positive view should be given constant updates on the benefits of vaccination; how it could protect them and others. In addition, people who are unable to decide need to be convinced too,” she added.

“Thus, information needs to be repeated using multiple media platforms to reach these diverse groups. I think it is important to listen and understand why such hesitation develops in the very first place.”

But accounts from people who have tried to engage with those who occupy the extreme end of the vaccine-hesitancy spectrum suggest employing science-based information has produced little to no effect.

In Malaysia, extreme anti-vaccine groups have grown considerably strong thanks to social media, a platform that has given them unprecedented reach to a wider audience.

The Ministry of Health had suggested these groups were responsible for the 340 per cent rise of measles cases among children in 2016, likely caused by worried parents refusing to vaccinate their children.

One theory public health experts have used to explain this is the high number of anti-vaccine individuals who come from a highly-paid professional class, who are already influential in their own right.

They include engineers, lawyers and even medical doctors.

Chen, an articulate 63-year-old retired engineer educated in the United Kingdom, is very personable. Not your stereotypical idea of an anti-vaxxer.

He believes vaccines were initially innocuous and intended to prevent diseases, but later became part of a nefarious plot by Big Pharma to maximise profit, and a way for powerful dark political forces to control the world.

Still, at the heart of his distrust is concern about side-effects.

The mounting criticism of the government’s handling of the pandemic has also fueled his suspicion of public institutions that he thinks are complicit in trying to hide facts about Covid-19.

“The Malaysian experts are good at reporting on daily ever changing figures of infections, deaths, contact tracing apps, PCR testing and SOPs,” he explained.

“However, we as real Malaysians know of the civil servants' laid back, lazy attitude and know that they would never be able to collect and update daily data of infections, deaths.”

Chen said he now relies on known far-right websites like Brighteon for information about vaccines, and people like Dr Judy Mikovits, Dr Lee Merritt, and Dr Christiane Northrup, medical doctors have been accused of promoting pseudoscience.

Communicating with people like Chen can be tough but experts say it’s still important to acknowledge and try to understand where they’re coming from.

For example, Chen’s theory about Big Pharma may not be entirely accurate but it’s not completely false either given the longstanding and unresolved allegations that have been leveled against pharmaceutical companies in the past.

Dr Chua Sook Ning, a psychologist with Relate Malaysia, suggests finding a “middle ground.” This could entail agreeing that we do not know everything and that it’s okay for us to be anxious.

“The more we take the conversation away from the points of disagreement to points of agreement and figure out a way to have a mutual goal and work towards it, it'll be a better conversation,” she said.


  1. In general, I do not trust vaccines that originate from countries with Authoritarian Government systems.
    For any vaccine to be trustworthy, the system for creating, assessing , reviewing and approving the vaccine must be objective, open to examination , and a clear separation between the approving authority and the vaccine source.

    With authoritarian governments , it is all too easy to use sheer government coercive power to get vaccines authorised roughshod over any doubts, data to be suppressed, only uncheckable Summary results provided to the public.

    Add the insult, some of these authoritarian system vaccine sources have a history of producing and distributing Fake Vaccines (salt water), falsified quality records (contaminated vaccines passed and distributed) .

  2. Bullyland’s own university research shows Sinovac’s 50.7% efficacy vaccine generates lower antibody response after cucuk.

    Coronavirus: Hong Kong study finds ‘substantial’ antibody-level difference between BioNTech, Sinovac jab recipients

    Victor Ting
    Published: 19 Jun, 2021

    A major Hong Kong study has found “substantially higher” levels of antibodies in people vaccinated against Covid-19 with the German-made BioNTech vaccine, compared with those who received China’s Sinovac shots. The presence of antibodies is a sign that the vaccine is working to protect an individual, although the quantity of the proteins generated by the body’s immune system to identify and neutralise the coronavirus does not directly correlate to the level of immunity. While the study’s findings do not place the merits of taking one vaccine above the other, they have raised questions about a government plan to shorten the quarantine period for vaccinated travellers arriving in Hong Kong based on antibody tests. Lead researcher Professor Benjamin Cowling, an epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong (HKU), told the Post the results also suggested that some of those who had received the Sinovac vaccine might need a booster shot.

    The government-commissioned study was conducted by HKU’s school of public health and involved tracking the antibody responses of 1,000 people who received either vaccine. Supported by the Health and Medical Research Fund, the objective of the study was to estimate the incidence of natural infections over time and the level of population immunity due to infections and vaccinations. The details of the findings would be published first in academic journals, Cowling said.

    “We do see substantially higher antibody responses in people who received the BioNTech vaccine, consistent with the higher levels of clinical protection reported in the large phase-three clinical trial of that vaccine, compared to the phase-three clinical trial of the Sinovac vaccine,” he said.

    The BioNTech vaccine has been reported to have a 95 per cent efficacy rate, while the mark for Sinovac is 50.7 per cent. Hong Kong has administered more than 3 million doses of vaccines to residents since late February, comprising 1.7 million BioNTech jabs and 1.3 million Sinovac shots. Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and her top officials received the mainland-made vaccine when it arrived in the city in February.

    Cowling said preliminary findings from about 100 participants in the study were in line with the efficacy rates published by the pharmaceutical firms.

    The amount of antibodies does not directly reflect the individual’s level of protection, but Cowling said there was increasing evidence that higher levels generally corresponded with greater immunity against infection. A higher amount of antibodies usually took longer to dissipate and subside, meaning the period of protection provided by a vaccine could be longer, he said.

    1. Wakakakakaka…

      C&P reporting from Apple daily!

      Aneh-ised pariah!

    2. Wakakakakaka… blurred mfers still game on alpha valiant.

      U guys would die standing w/o knowing what hit u.

      Here is what you need to know about the efficacy of coronavirus vaccines against the Delta valiant (COVID B.1.617.2) first identified in India.

      The Delta variant of coronavirus is a source of serious concern as lab tests have shown it is more contagious and resistant to vaccines compared with other forms of COVID-19.

      However, there is evidence that the available jabs retain important effectiveness against it after two doses.

      A British study published in The Lancet medical journal in early June looked at levels of neutralising antibodies produced in vaccinated people exposed to the Delta, Alpha (first identified in Britain) and Beta (first identified in South Africa) variants.

      It found that antibody levels in people with two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot were six times lower in the presence of the Delta variant than in the presence of the original COVID-19 strain on which the vaccine was based.

      The Alpha and Beta variants also provoked lower responses, with 2.6 times fewer antibodies for Alpha and 4.9 times fewer for Beta.

      A French study from the Pasteur Institute concluded that neutralising antibodies produced by vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech jab are three to six times less effective against the Delta variant than against the Alpha variant.

      The Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine is 88% effective against the delta variant two weeks after the second dose.

      However three weeks out after just one dose, the Pfizer vaccine and the AstraZeneca vaccines (the latter of which is approved in the U.K., but not in the U.S.) were only 33% effective against symptomatic disease from delta, which is why it's so important to get both doses.

      It's NOW commonly acknowledged by the medical scientists that delta variant would be the main transmitting strain spreading throughout the THIRD wave all-over the world.

      If widely coverage of herd immunity isn't achieved quickly then this Delta valiant could mutate further into a more virulent & potential lethal strain as happened from investigation from India.

      So, keyword - contained delta valiant & fast herd immunity rate within a closed grouping.

      & the only country in the world that can achieve these twin requirements is China.

  3. a communist wan to catch another communist applying a communist law

    1. Wakakakakaka…

      Did communist cause yr chronic constipation such that all yr farts r communist related?

      Ooop… 江郎才尽 blackgoating of the f*cked order.