KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 4 – Yayasan Sime Darby (SD) has committed RM1.37 million for 11 aid initiatives in Sabah, targeting individuals and communities severely impacted by the Covid-19 epidemic.
In March this year, the foundation began mobilising emergency response initiatives, addressing the immediate needs of frontliners and vulnerable groups in Malaysia’s critical areas and has committed more than RM7.8 million to date for these initiatives.
These efforts have benefitted 7,200 bottom 40 per cent (B40) families, 1,428 Orang Asli households, 12,750 students, and 5,016 frontline workers as well as Covid-19 persons under investigation.
“As the nation continues to struggle through the Covid-19 pandemic, Yayasan Sime Darby aims to do our part in ensuring that aid reaches as many people as possible.
“Our relief efforts, in collaboration with so many of our cherished partners, aim to support Malaysia’s frontliners who continue to provide essential services, medical or otherwise, patients, as well as communities and individuals whose resources and livelihoods have been deeply impacted by the pandemic.
“For as long as help is needed, we shall continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the needs of those within vulnerable communities are met,” said YSD chairman Imran Tuanku Ja’afar said in a statement.
As coronavirus infections soared in Sabah since last month, YSD deployed relief initiatives from October 9. These efforts were carried out in partnership with organisations such as Semporna Hospital, Tawau Hospital, Sandakan Hospital, Sandakan Klinik Kesihatan, and MERCY Malaysia.
Also supporting YSD in seeing these efforts through are two Sime Darby companies — Sime Darby Berhad (SDB) and Sime Darby Plantation (SDP).
“Medical frontliners and vulnerable groups in Sabah’s three east coast districts are feeling the crippling effects of the third wave where we see unprecedented infection rates since the country began grappling with the pandemic,” said YSD CEO Yatela Zainal Abidin.
“We learned that our support was critical to ease the burden of Hospital Tawau which shares resources with Hospital Semporna as the latter has no capacity to treat severe Covid-19 patients. Both Hospital Tawau and Hospital Sandakan had to also set up new treatment and quarantine areas to accommodate the increasing number of patients,” she added.
Of the total committed, RM544,520 was channelled towards providing support in the form of transport ventilators, defibrillators, patient monitors, closed suction sets, food items and other medical equipment to 283 frontliners and patients at Semporna Hospital, through a collaboration with SDP.
The collaboration was also extended to Tawau Hospital, whereby 500 frontliners and patients received RM242,420 worth of dry food assistance, a disaster tent, and medical equipment such cardiac monitors, oxygen regulators and defibrillators, to accelerate the formation of an emergency treatment area
In addition, frontliners and patients at Sandakan Hospital received approximately RM244,850 worth of medical equipment, such as powered air purifying respirators and portable vital signs monitors, PPEs, and food assistance as a result of YSD’s collaboration with the hospital’s staff members and SDB.
Through the collaboration, YSD was also able to provide RM314,000 worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) to Sandakan Klinik Kesihatan’s 700 frontliners to help expand community testing from 200 to 500 individuals daily.
Moreover, 120 local families in underprivileged communities in Sabah’s Pulau Selakan and Pulau Maiga, who were impacted by the lockdown measures, also received a total of RM14,500 in food assistance from YSD, with the support of Aminor Azmi and Sime Darby Plantation.
The support eliminated the need for members of island communities to leave the safety of their houses to purchase necessities, thus safeguarding them from possible exposure to infection.
Not forgetting peninsular Malaysia, YSD and SDP also collaborated with OKU Sentral, founded by Senator Ras Adiba Radzi and Ilias Yaakop, dedicating RM105,500 in food items and hygiene kits to 700 underprivileged families in red zone areas within the Klang Valley.
Moreover, transportation aid amounting to RM56,250 was also provided to MERCY Malaysia to ensure the timely deployment of volunteers and distribution of PPE and food assistance across Malaysia.