KJ dismisses claim that AGC didn’t approve parts of vax procurement

PETALING JAYA: Former health minister Khairy Jamaluddin has dismissed Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s claim that some parts of the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines were done without the approval of the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).

In a New Straits Times report, Khairy said all purchases made by the Perikatan Nasional government were brought to the Cabinet.

“Therefore, the AGC would be privy and (would have) provided their comments. (The) procurement was signed off by KKM (the health ministry),” he said in a WhatsApp message.

Earlier today, Anwar said parts of the procurement did not follow procedure, adding that the ministers involved would have to answer for it.

Khairy was the vaccine coordinating minister when the vaccines were procured while Dr Adham Baba was the health minister.

FMT has reached out to Adham’s aide for comment.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) investigated the country’s procurement of Covid-19 vaccines in 2021, during which Khairy, Adham and then finance minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz were called to answer queries.

In its report, the PAC said Putrajaya paid vaccine manufacturer Sinovac Biotech Ltd a premium for certain doses to make up for delays caused by Pharmaniaga’s fill and finish process.

The government’s rollout used a combination of bottled vaccines bought directly from Sinovac, as well as vaccines that were delivered as raw materials to Pharmaniaga and vialed locally.

The PAC found that Putrajaya paid 16.78% to 18.12% higher than the price originally agreed to for 2.4 million doses delivered in May and July 2021 to make up for delays on Pharmaniaga’s end.

In the PAC report, Khairy said the Cabinet agreed to pay a premium to accelerate delivery of the vaccines.

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