LETTER | The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) commends the government for its decision to provide free Covid-19 vaccination for all, including non-citizens residing in Malaysia which will include diplomats, expatriates, students, foreign spouses and children, foreign workers, and UNHCR cardholders.
This move can be seen as a recognition of the principle of access to health for all in Malaysia and is in line with the principles of non-discrimination and equal treatment as promulgated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
Access to healthcare is a fundamental human right that should be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of their status. The right to health contains entitlements which include the right to a system of health protection providing equal opportunity for everyone to access healthcare.
Suhakam also hopes that the government will realise its decision to provide free vaccination for undocumented migrants and ensure that those who come forward to participate in the National Immunisation Programme will not be arrested and penalised for their undocumented status.
While we understand the powers within the immigration laws provide for arrest of those without valid documents, the urgency during this pandemic demands that a safe and secure environment must exist in order for all persons to come out voluntarily for vaccination.
In this regard, Suhakam welcomes the government’s readiness to work together with various parties including NGOs towards ensuring an effective immunisation programme for all.
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