Yayasan Sime Darby Amplifies Relief Efforts Amid Pandemic’s 3rd Wave And Has Committed Over RM7.8 Million


One of the first corporate foundations to respond to the 3rd wave which began in Sabah, YSD has committed RM1.37 million for 11 relief initiatives in the worst-hit state

YSD Chief Executive Officer Puan Hajjah Yatela Zainal Abidin, YSD Governing Council Member Ms Caroline Christine Russell and YSD Governing Council Member YBhg. Datin Paduka Zaitoon Dato’ Othman hands over a mock cheque signifying YSD’s continued support of RM1.5 million to Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) Executive Director Ms Sumitra Visvanathan. YSD’s support to WAO is for three years until December 2019.

(From left to right) Medical assistant Asyraf, staff nurse Malik and medical assistant Zulimie from Hospital Semporna receiving patient monitors from Yayasan Sime Darby

Kuala Lumpur, 28th October 2020 – Responding to the 3rd wave of COVID-19 outbreaks in Malaysia, Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) has committed RM1.37 million for 11 aid initiatives in Sabah, amplifying its support for individuals and communities severely impacted by the pandemic. YSD is one of the first corporate foundations in Malaysia to mobilise their response efforts in the worst-hit state as the nation faces this most recent wave.

In March this year, the Foundation began mobilising emergency response initiatives, addressing the immediate needs of frontliners and vulnerable groups in the country’s critical areas and has committed more than RM7.8 million to date for these initiatives. These efforts have benefitted 7,200 B40 families, 1,428 Orang Asli households,12,750 students and 5,016 frontline workers as well as persons under investigation (PUIs).

“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 Y.A.M. Tunku Tan Sri Imran Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Ja'afar.

With Sabah facing an escalating number of COVID-19 transmissions resulting in hospital beds rapidly reaching full capacity, frontliners being stretched thin and resources dwindling, relief initiatives were immediately deployed beginning 9 October to help the state regain control of the situation. These efforts were carried out in partnership with organisations such as Hospital Semporna, Hospital Tawau, Hospital Sandakan, Klinik Kesihatan Sandakan 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 3 east coast districts are feeling the crippling effects of the 3rd wave where we see unprecedented infection rates since the country began grappling with the pandemic. 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,” says YSD Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Hjh Yatela Zainal Abidin.

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 Hospital Semporna in Sabah, through a collaboration with SDP. The collaboration was also extended to Hospital Tawau, 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 setting up of an emergency treatment area

In addition, frontliners and patients at Hospital Sandakan 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 PPEs to Klinik Kesihatan Sandakan’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 are impacted by the lockdown measures also received a total of RM14,500 in food assistance from YSD, with the support of Mr. Aminor Azmi and Sime Darby Plantation. The support eliminated the need for members of the 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 YB 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 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 PPEs and food assistance across Malaysia.

“I am thankful that we have formed close collaborations with civil society organisations, hospitals, and medical centres; to assist us to ensure that the various communities’ most important needs are met, for them to face the various challenges brought on by COVID-19. Apart from our valued partners, I would like to thank the SDB and SDP volunteer teams for their never-ending support and on-ground contributions, as we continue to provide those critically in need with as much assistance and protection as possible from the pandemic. As the country continues to face an unprecedented number of uncertainties, it is important for each of us to do our part in flattening the curve so that our country can work towards recovery,” Dr Yatela adds.

With these efforts and more to come, YSD aims to do its part in safeguarding the well-being, safety and health of all those in need and will increase funding for relief efforts where and when necessary, all while ensuring that they are able to continue living life in the new normal as productively and sustainable as possible.

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Last Updated:
22 Dec 2020
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