KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 — Recognition and support from international allies in combating the COVID-19 pandemic show Malaysia’s strength, says Senior Minister of Foreign Affairs (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.
He stressed that the respect and strength of Malaysia’s bilateral and multilateral relations are still on a very strong footing.
“If we are a failed state, if what we have planned doesn’t make sense, I don’t think we will be given due recognition and respect that we received in the past few months,” he told a press conference on Friday.
He was speaking after the handing over ceremony of medical supplies contributed by the Saudi Arabian government through the King Salman Centre for Relief and Humanitarian Action (KSRelief) to help Malaysia fight the COVID-19 pandemic at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) here.
Also present were Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Special Functions) Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof and Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Malaysia Datuk Dr Mahmoud Hussien Saeed Qattan.
Hishammuddin pointed out that Malaysia had received multiple COVID-19 vaccine donations including 1 million doses of Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine from the United States, 1 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from Japan and 500,000 doses of Sinovac vaccine from China.
“From United Kingdom I can announce today that the vaccines will be arriving on Tuesday. 415,000 doses (AstraZeneca vaccine),” he added.
Hishammuddin said Saudi Arabia will also contribute 1 million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine with Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry and KSRelief discussing the delivery.
“Our aim is to get it as soon as possible from the supplier. Saudi has been kind enough to contribute the vaccine but we are trying to figure out from the supplier which one will be delivered to us as soon as possible,” he said.
The items handed over by the Saudi government today include 100 ventilators, 150 portable ventilators, 319 oxygen concentrators, 30 respiratory support devices, 100 portable ventilators, 150 electric medical beds, 15 vital signs monitors, 10 central vital signs monitors and 27 portable vital signs monitors.
The other items are three million surgical masks, one million N95 masks, 500,000 medical gloves, 180 pulse oximeters, 50 intravenous infusions pumps, 50 intravenous solutions pumps, seven defibrillators, five video laryngoscopes, five electrocardiographs (ECGs), and 10,000 protective gowns.
Saudi Arabia’s contribution is estimated to be worth almost US$5 million (RM21.14 million).
Hishammuddin also assured that all supplies contributed by Saudi Arabia will go to the people who really need them in Malaysia.
He also extended Malaysia’s deepest appreciation and gratitude to Saudi Arabia for ensuring the contribution arrived only days after the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud decreed KSRelief to provide urgent assistance to Malaysia in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.