PETALING JAYA: The Foreign Ministry’s newly-launched Malaysia’s Diplomatic Equipment Stockpile (MDES) initiative received almost 350,000 face masks on Thursday (April 9) through donations from various entities.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein accepted the donated face masks and RM250,000 in a symbolic handover ceremony at Wisma Putra.
Hishamuddin said that the face masks will be distributed among the country’s diplomatic missions abroad as part of the ministry’s MDES initiative.
“So far, Wisma Putra through MDES has received a donation of 355,500 face masks and RM250,000 in cash, ” he said, adding that apart from the 345,500 face masks received on Thursday, MDES had earlier received a donation of 10,000 face masks from the Chinese government.
He said that apart from the donation of face masks and cash, many have also expressed their gratitude for the work of the country’s diplomatic corps around the world.
“I believe that the donation and support given to the frontliners in Wisma Putra can help strengthen their resolve to do their best in their job, especially in bringing Malaysians who are stranded aboard back home, ” he said.
He said that MDES, an initiative launched on March 30, was aimed at ensuring that the ministry’s personnel all over the world have access to personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks.
“It’s important for us to ensure that they are not exposed to Covid-19 while doing their job, especially in their efforts to ensure the smooth return of Malaysians who are stranded overseas due to airspace closures and the travel bans of other countries, ” he said.
He added that the MDES initiative would lighten the National Disaster Management Agency’s (Nadma) burden from having to provide Wisma Putra’s personnel with PPE, as the agency also has to provide PPE to other agencies such as the police and armed forces.
Those who donated were Perfect China Co Ltd (300,000 face masks); Weststar Group (30,000 face masks); China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co Ltd (8,000 face masks); Malaysia-Myanmar Business Commerce (7,500 face masks); Roadcare (M) Sdn Bhd (RM50,000); and Tan Sri Francis Lau Tuang Guang (RM50,000), he said.
He added that the remaining RM150,000 came from an anonymous donor.
Hishamuddin said that other organisations or companies who want to donate to the MDES initiative were also welcome to do so.
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