Early COVID-19 vaccine for Malaysian celebs? Film director says don’t ‘jump the queue’

Michael Ang takes a selfie, at left, and a file photo of a syringe, at right. Photos: Michael Ang/Instagram and GP Online/Facebook
Michael Ang takes a selfie, at left, and a file photo of a syringe, at right. Photos: Michael Ang/Instagram and GP Online/Facebook

It’s business as usual for Malaysia’s entertainment industry, but does that mean actors can cut the COVID-19 vaccination queue? 

That question has been tossed around on the internet since yesterday after Zed Zaidi, the actor and leader of the local artist association called for early inoculation of celebrities in place of frequent swab tests on film sets. But not everyone was on his side, including established film director Michael Ang, 45, who spoke against jumping “the queue.”

“To me, vaccines should be given to students and those who work at malls, markets, and food and beverage outlets,” the My Coffee Prince director wrote on Instagram late last night. 

“As artists, let’s endure the COVID tests patiently because taking the test usually means we’ve got gigs and an income stream. Don’t jump the queue,” he added. 

His statement garnered support from actresses Mimi Lana, Nad Zainal, and Yasmin Hani, who said: “Totally agree with [you].”

Zed, whose real name is Rozaidi Abdul Jamil, is from the Malaysian Artists Association. He said yesterday that he had been receiving complaints from local actors who apparently could no longer tolerate swab tests on the job. Zed did not reveal who those actors were. 

“I get a lot of complaints from actors who have to do frequent swab tests because they have many gigs,” he said, adding: “Some say they cannot endure such frequent testing.”

He then hinted at the use of celebrity power to promote vaccination. 

“It will be such a great loss if the government doesn’t use our celebrities’ influence to get people to take the vaccine,” he added. 

Zed recently starred in police drama Gerak Khas (Special Forces) and became the chief of the association in 2014. 

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