Malaysia’s leading NGO for recovering People Who Inject Drugs receives critical lifeline from Yayasan Sime Darby

● RM 2.5 million grant was awarded by Yayasan Sime Darby to KOMITED Malaysia, a Community-Based Organisation led and run by former People Who Injects Drug (PWID) to address issues related to drugs and HIV/AIDS vulnerability

31 May 2021, Kuantan, Pahang. People who inject drugs (PWID) are some of the most socially-disadvantaged segments of our society. Various evidence shows that structural barriers directly related to drug use or its consequences such as poverty, discrimination and criminalisation have contributed to poor health outcomes of PWID and puts them at higher risk of acquiring HIV infection.

Recognising the urgent need to reduce the vulnerability of PWID, Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) announced today a commitment of RM 2.5 million to the Komuniti Intervensi Dadah Malaysia, also known as KOMITED Malaysia, a Community-Based Organisation (CBO) founded and operated by former PWIDs in their home state of Pahang.

The YSD sponsorship funds the rental of 5 shelter homes and 2 drop-in centres, as well as salaries of 40 former PWID supporting KOMITED Malaysia’s One-Stop Centre Model – developed as a holistic approach for a continuum of care and services that emphasise the needs of PWID clients and other key affected population including women and children living with HIV. This support intends to improve access to free-of-charge treatment, rehabilitation services and welfare support, improve the wellbeing of PWID through learning new skills and securing jobs to sustain their livelihoods. KOMITED Malaysia presently runs a range of high-impact programmes focusing on HIV prevention, counselling on quitting their drug habits, care, support, and outreach activities. Its members also handle the funerals of those whose deaths are related to drug abuse regardless of religion.

Dr Yatela Zainal Abidin, CEO of YSD, commented.

"YSD is proud to be collaborating with KOMITED Malaysia to turn around the lives of PWID. The approach of providing community support, enabling them to learn new skills, and building sustainable livelihoods for PWID is indeed in alignment with YSD’s aim of increasing the marginalised community’s access to healthcare and reducing socio-economic disparities.

Beyond the sponsorship, we shall also be lending our expertise to assist KOMITED in improving their operational standards, transparency and governance – critical steps to improve their long-term sustainability towards greater growth.

We are also keen to continue to contribute to efforts in ending AIDS– a mission that we have committed to and have come to appreciate even more through our decade-long partnership with our strategic partner, the Malaysian AIDS Foundation.”

Khalid Hashim, the founder and president of KOMITED Malaysia, commented on the partnership.

“Compassion defines everything that we do at KOMITED Malaysia. For more than two decades, we pour our heart and soul to transform the lives of our PWID clients, saving them from the brink and creating a safe space for them to not only survive but thrive.
Support for the community is crucial because some of our clients are facing the double-edged sword: stigmatised and discriminated against not only for their drug-taking behaviours; but also, on the basis of their HIV status.”

“We are grateful beyond words for the incredible generosity of YSD. At a time when NGOs like us are struggling financially to get by, YSD has provided us with much-needed fiscal relief and taken away our anxiety about the very survival of our organisation.”

Bakhtiar Talhah, the Honorary Secretary of Malaysian AIDS Foundation, commented.

“ We have known all along, that the HIV epidemic is fuelled by inequalities – which is why the work by Malaysia to directly address the vulnerability of the PWID community is so important and will have a lasting impact on our ending AIDS mission. We thanked YSD for recognising Komited Malaysia’s potential and leading the way among Malaysian corporate in reaching out to the marginalised group.”

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Last Updated:
14 Jun 2022
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