There were only 36.6% or 1.04 million adults registered for the vaccination program in Johor by 6 April 2021. If we want to reopen the border between Malaysia and Singapore to allow thousands of families to reunite, the government must employ a “whole-of-society” and “all-of-government” approach to speed up the registration in Johor specifically.
According to the statistic released by National Security Council on April 7, Johor has so far 1,038,985 residents registered for the vaccination program. It is 36.6% out of all the above 18 years-old population. Johor Bahru has the highest registration rate which stands at 41.9% (499,842). Kulai is ranked at second place with 41.7%.
At the same time, another eight districts have not even registered one-third of the above 18 years-old population. The lowest goes to Mersing with only 23.2% or 13,597 residents registered.
Since the vaccination registration started in February, my office has been organising 20 mobile registration drives in markets and rural communities. While there were a few who are hesitant to register for vaccination, many did not register because they are not tech savvy. This is especially among elderly and rural communities. This is proven by the statewide statistics that highly urbanized districts like Johor Bahru and Kulai have a higher registration rate, while other districts with smaller young working population and larger rural communities have lower registration rate.
The digital gap between the urban and rural area, and different age groups are huge. It has become a hurdle for us to achieve a higher registration rate. It may even prevent us from achieving the herd-immunity target if we do not employ a “whole-of-society” and “all-of-government” approach to tackle it right now.
Currently, a lot of our DAP former councilors and village chiefs are still working at the frontline to assist in registration for vaccination. Hence, the Johor State Government should step up the effort and instruct all appointed councilors and village chiefs to conduct the registration exercise. It is time for all political appointees to work now after the fight over the positions.
We should be clear by now that the earlier we achieve herd-immunity through vaccination, the faster we may be able to recover from economic downturn. We must make sure that the vaccination program is a success, beginning with the registration exercise.