KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 — The government and banking sector should do much more to support, assist and facilitate any genuine private sector initiatives in finding and securing a workable vaccine for Covid-19 from reputable sources overseas, said Gua Musang MP Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
The veteran Umno stalwart, popularly known as Ku Li, added that most vaccine developments overseas are undertaken by private sector biotech firms.
“As we are still sailing in uncharted waters, we should learn as much as possible from the measures undertaken in other countries,” he said in a statement.
Ku Li urged that Malaysia should also not take anything for granted, and instead be open and innovative in exploring any viable ideas needed.
“We need a holistic integrated approach, including protecting nature and environment, to deal with this deadly and devastating pandemic. This pandemic is too important for our country’s survival to be politicised by any quarters.
“I would like to call upon all parties, all sectors and the public to support the government of the day in managing this crisis equitably for all. Our country needs to be united and coordinated in facing this most dangerous and invisible threat to our very existence,” he said.
Meanwhile, until a workable vaccine is found, Ku Li said the right balance is needed on the social measures to control future infections and how to carefully open up the damaged economy to stop the internal haemorrhage.
“The government has stated that tourism has suffered a loss of RM45 billion in the first half of this year. It also warned of RM1 trillion losses caused by a collapse of the banking and financial system if the economy is not open up soon enough.
“This is the greatest challenge today for our country to address. The government’s main responsibility is to continue to ensure that agreed social measures standard operating procedures are being implemented appropriately, provide adequate healthcare and treatment, as well as to prepare the country for future waves of infections,” he said.
Ku Li said it is particularly important to ensure that those who are most vulnerable, including the poor, sick, disabled, or the unemployed, are not neglected or being sidelined in any way from any forms of aid. Compassionate considerations must be given to such vulnerable groups when implementing social measures.
“The government and its relevant agencies have so far done a good job in using social measures to keep the infections low and under control, and has also done well in providing the healthcare and treatment needed for Covid-19 patients. Our frontline healthcare workers have done a marvellous job here and should be roundly applauded.
“Nonetheless we should be honest and realistic with ourselves and while we should do our best, we should not be too concerned about having zero cases of infections. Of course, it is most welcomed if we achieve zero cases, but it may not be sustainable until a vaccine is found,” he said.