KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 26): Malaysia will continue to call for a fair, affordable, accessible and equitable vaccine roll-out for all, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.
He said although globally, the number of weekly Covid-19 cases and deaths continue to decline, we should not be complacent.
“As more restrictions are lifted, efforts must be continued to further contain the pandemic. Vaccination has proven to be the most viable tool to achieve this end,” he said in his intervention at the 9th ASEAN-US Summit held virtually on Tuesday.
President of the United States Joe Biden also participated in the meeting, which was held in conjunction with the 38th and 39th ASEAN Summits and Related Summits.
The prime minister also commended the Biden administration for giving serious attention to the Covid-19 pandemic, domestically and globally, and its engagement with international organisations.
“In this regard, Malaysia commends the United States’ pledge at the recent Global Covid-19 Summit to donate additional 500 million doses of Pfizer vaccines to lower-income countries by 2022.
“We hope this will greatly assist ASEAN Member States in speeding up their national vaccination drives,” he said.
Meanwhile, the prime minister also underscored the need to bridge the digital gap to ensure a level playing field for all in the pursuit of socio-economic recovery and prosperity, as an all-encompassing digital way of doing things is fast becoming the norm.
He said the adoption of the ASEAN-United States Leaders’ Statement on Digital Development and ASEAN Consolidated Strategy on the Fourth Industrial Revolution on Tuesday is timely.
Based on these documents, he said ASEAN and the United States should swiftly develop initiatives to support and strengthen ASEAN’s digital infrastructure and transformation.
“Malaysia stands ready to support this effort through its MyDIGITAL programme and Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (2021-2030).
He said the Cybersecurity Malaysia, an agency under the Communication and Multimedia Ministry will be organising the ASEAN Digital Security Professional Development and Lifelong Learning Programme that aims to develop capacity building and knowledge transfer for digital security, adding that Malaysia looks forward to the United States’ support for this initiative.