KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 — The government will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China to ensure Malaysia will be among the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from the country once it is, as expected, successfully developed by end of the year.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that through talks between Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and his visiting Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, China had agreed to list Malaysia as a priority recipient of the vaccine after it has completed clinical trials.
“I am quite pleased with this guarantee and I have asked that this cooperation be inked in the form of an MoU to be made with China,” he told a press conference at his residence in Putrajaya today.
Muhyiddin said the government had also agreed to join the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) Facility, a global partnership that can help developing nations obtain vaccines for COVID-19 and other diseases.
Muhyiddin said although this would involve a huge amount of money, it would not stop the government from obtaining the supply from vaccine suppliers from other sources.
Meanwhile, Muhyiddin reiterated the importance of obeying the quarantine orders and that neither he nor his ministers were exempted from complying with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by the Ministry of Health (MOH).
“There are no double standards in terms of imposing whatever has been done. Whether it is Act 342 or any other law. (The) Law can’t differentiate between a minister and an ordinary person. If they do something wrong, they will be hit by the law, the appropriate punishment will be meted out, must be meted out,” he said.
Touching on the third wave of COVID-19 that the country is currently facing, Muhyiddin said the government was adopting the best strategy to curb the spread of the virus, including in terms of spending.
“We spend prudently. Applications from the MOH for any matters, I approve them 100 per cent and this is an important step for us to implement, seeing how the number of cases in Selangor and Sabah has increased.
“We are taking proactive steps to curb the pandemic. But if the situation worsens, there will be other measures that we will take to help the people. What we are doing down is to ensure there is no lockdown.
“Many of those involved in the economic sector do not want another MCO (Movement Control Order), a restriction which clearly had a big impact on the nation’s economy,” he said.
The Prime Minister is currently undergoing a 14-day self-quarantine at his residence, beginning from Oct 5.
This is because he had chaired the special meeting of the National Security Council (MKN), which was also attended by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri.
Zulkifli tested positive for COVID-19 last Monday (Oct 5) and is undergoing treatment at a hospital in Seremban.
Source: Prime Minister’s Office of Malaysia