The United States, United Kingdom, Japan, and China are among the countries donating millions of doses of life-saving vaccines to Malaysia.
Some foreign investors may be pulling out of Malaysia, but the country is seeing another form of foreign influx that’s just as valuable: Millions of doses of critically important Covid-19 vaccines are being donated to Malaysia by a number of foreign countries, along with medical equipment and cash aid that is directly supporting Malaysian families.
On the morning of July 5, America’s donation of one million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine arrived in Malaysia, underscoring the friendship shared by the two countries.
National Immunisation Programme coordinating minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who was on hand at Subang Airport to ‘welcome’ the vaccines as they arrived, expressed his appreciation to the American government, and said Malaysia hopes to continue working with US and other countries to secure access for more vaccines.
US Ambassador to Malaysia Brian McFeeters, who was also present, affirmed that the US was committed to working with Malaysia to support its National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.
The day before, as the vaccines were en route to Malaysia, Senior Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein thanked the United States for donating one million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, part of the initial batch of 80 million doses the US has committed to sharing worldwide.
“On behalf of the Government of Malaysia, I would like to once again express my sincere gratitude to my counterpart, Antony Blinken (US Secretary of State) and the US Government for the generous contribution of its Covid-19 vaccines,” Hishammuddin said in a statement.
The vaccines are part of an overall assistance package from the United States. Earlier in the pandemic, the US donated RM1 million to six Malaysian NGOs which help people adversely affected by the coronavirus crisis. The funds donated by America directly supported almost 4,000 Malaysian families.
Additionally, the US has contributed over RM1 million worth of medical supplies and equipment to Malaysia. Hishammuddin also made a point of offering Malaysia’s appreciation for this, as well, noting, “The United States, through its embassy in Kuala Lumpur, has also been extending various assistance and contributions to Malaysia since the start of the pandemic last year, including the in-kind contribution of medical supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE), and ICT equipment, worth US$250,000 (RM1.04mil).”
The United Kingdom, meanwhile, has also contributed a large number of vaccine doses to Malaysia, part of its nine million-dose global AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine donation, which itself is the first tranche of the 100 million total vaccine doses the UK has committed to sharing worldwide over the next year.
Malaysia will receive 415,000 doses of the UK-manufactured vaccine, a testament to the deep ties enjoyed by the two countries. Again, Hishammuddin expressed gratitude on behalf of the Malaysian government.
“This is the epitome of our long-standing and strong relationship that would further strengthen cooperation bilaterally and at various other levels,” he said in a statement. “Malaysia is highly appreciative of the invaluable support extended by the UK and believe that both countries could work together on many productive endeavours to weather the storm of this pandemic towards meaningful recovery.”
Japan also generously gifted Malaysia with one million doses, contributing the AstraZeneca vaccine, manufactured in Japan, to the country as “a token of the longstanding friendship between Japan and Malaysia,” according to the Embassy of Japan.
The vaccines contributed by Japan arrived in Malaysia on July 1, with similar numbers of doses being donated by Japan to Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines, as well.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Japan has provided various aid and cooperation to Malaysia, including emergency assistance to the people in need, as well as Japan’s grant cooperation for providing advanced medical equipment to Malaysia worth over RM20 million.
PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
Finally, as a token of the friendship between China and Malaysia, the Chinese government has donated 500,000 doses of its Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine to Malaysia.
A statement from the Embassy of the PRC in Malaysia noted that, “Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the governments and the peoples of China and Malaysia have stood together and assisted each other in times of crisis. As the Malay proverb goes, ‘Bukit sama didaki, lurah sama dituruni‘.” (Roughly, “Together we climb the same hill, and together we reach the same valley.”)
It’s certainly got to be gratifying for expats from these countries who are living in Malaysia to see first-hand the generosity and kindness of their home countries towards Malaysia in a time of globally shared need.
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