Response missions to provide support and relief for the country’s medical frontliners and vulnerable communities
Kuala Lumpur, 1 April 2020 – Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) has committed more than RM4.4 million to support efforts that address the immediate needs of individuals and communities impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is being carried out through partnerships, such as with the Government-Linked Companies (GLC) and Government-Linked Investment Companies (GLIC) Disaster Response Network (GDRN), MERCY Malaysia, Malaysia International Search & Rescue (MISAR) and University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC).
Of the total committed, RM3.5 million is channelled to GDRN to provide streamlined support for medical supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators to hospitals, district health clinics and frontliners through the Ministry of Health (MoH) and Pharmaniaga Berhad.
Another RM577,840 is allocated to a partnership with MERCY Malaysia for the mobilisation cost — of meals, logistics, accommodation, PPE, health screening sets — for 140 medical volunteers making up 28 teams at 2 government hospitals in Johor and 4 district health centres in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, as well as food, water and medical supplies for frontliners. Out of the total amount, MERCY is distributing RM200,000 worth of food aid and hygiene kits to the underprivileged and RM38,000 worth of food aid and disinfectants to quarantine centres in Terengganu.
YSD also contributed a total of RM195,000 to UMMC to purchase PPE which include gloves, disposable face shields as well as coverall suits for medical frontline workers. Additionally, YSD allocated RM12,160 worth of hand sanitisers for enforcement officers at Movement Control Order (MCO) checkpoints and police stations, which were distributed with the help of Malaysia International Search and Rescue (MISAR).
With the help of Perak State Park Corporation (PSPC), food assistance worth RM10,000 are being distributed to 241 Orang Asli households who are living in the Royal Belum Forest. Additionally, some 1,000 Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) students and 98 low-income individuals received food aid worth RM70,000 and RM21,560 respectively.
YSD hopes that these funds will help community-based organisations better respond to the global health crisis by assisting people who are economically or physically at risk, such as medical frontliners and underserved communities.
Its Chairman YSD's Chairman Y.A.M. Tunku Tan Sri Imran Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Ja'afar said that as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise, these partnerships are aimed to help YSD support Malaysia’s medical providers who are being stretched thin, and also to provide assistance to vulnerable communities whose sources of income have been affected by the MCO.
“Apart from our partners who have been working tirelessly to support the Ministry of Health, we also thank our other partners and volunteers who have helped us to distribute food aid and/or hygiene products to the hardest-hit communities.
“We are thankful to Sime Darby Plantation, Sime Darby Berhad, and Sime Darby Property for their generous contributions to these missions. We are always proud to be able to represent these three caring companies in all humanitarian efforts we undertake,” he said.
YSD has set aside RM2 million annually for its Disaster Relief Fund which had been used to assist communities affected by disasters such as floods, fires and earthquakes. Tunku Imran added: “We have never thought that one day, we would be using these funds to provide critical assistance to various affected groups during a global pandemic. “During this critical time, we have more than doubled our allocation of funds to support essential COVID-19 response work and will increase the amount of funds if the situation calls for it.
“While circumstances appear gloomy during these challenging times, we have to have faith in and support our healthcare and enforcement authorities who are putting their lives on the line to help flatten the pandemic curve. And until the day comes when their efforts bear fruit and the MCO is lifted, we wish to assist these frontliners to do their jobs safely and effectively, while not forgetting those who have little to no access to food and hygiene,” he added.