Malaysia’s healthcare progress has a long history

AT times when US president was criticised for ceasing aid to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Malaysia continues riding on its reputation as the country working closely with the international community to enhance its healthcare system.

The Covid-19 pandemic is a major challenge to the healthcare system in any country.

Any country not ready to invest in improving its healthcare (not in terms of quality but on its achievement or accessible to all) and reluctant to cooperate with others will be easily affected when the pandemic hits it.

When today’s news highlighted the recognition given by Chinese TV, CGTN to the director-general of Health Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah as one of the world’s three leading experts on Covid-19, it makes us proud.

Regardless of whether CGTN is simply doing this to chide at Donald Trump for being at loggerheads with Dr Anthony Fauci (another expert getting the recognition), it does not matter to us.

The matter is, we proud of having a senior civil servant who is elevated to world status. As Dr Noor Hisham said, it is also a recognition for the Health Ministry and the country in general.

In fact, we are proud to say that our healthcare system developed over many years since the Independence is one of the world best.


From a perspective, maybe Malaysia is no match to Donald Trump and the US for being the largest economy but we continue to make contribution towards healthcare development in the region and the globe.

The instances are:

  1. In its 2017 report, WHO documented dozens of its technical meetings supported by the Malaysian government between 2009-2015, among which discussed the epidemic chikungunya, dengue and other related issues.
  2. Malaysia assisted WHO by responding to Haiyan Typhoon in the Philippines in 2013, besides responding to Ebola epidemic.
  3. Malaysia donated to the fund and provided expertise at the WHO West Pacific Regional Committee meeting in 2010, and the Environmental and Health Forum 2013.
  4. WHO Global Service Center which organises all income, financial, IT and operation is located in Cyberjaya since 2008.
  5. Latest, Malaysia is involved in anti-viral research for Covid-19.

When Malaysia is seen actively involved internationally and possesses a sound healthcare system, we are bound for recognition, cooperation and aid from others.

It augurs well for the PPE, medical supplies. It is hoped that we could find the vaccine fast as it will reflect a strategic healthcare research that can come as an investment for international healthcare supervisionary.

What we achieved today does not happened overnight but a continuous effort over the long years between the government and its stakeholders, well engaged in the fullest cooperation, non-individualistic and no personal glory, let alone seeking populist arena that created uneasiness with others.

Yes, it is a long and winding road.

And it is a true fact that our frontliners might be handicapped in some areas.

In the fight against Covid-19, we are yet to win. A lot needs to be improvised but it is not wrong to feel fortunate and share everything.

The country has seen a lull over a month – when the good news arrive, we embrace it as it is.

Shahril Hamdan
UMNO Information Chief and Deputy Chief Pergerakan Pemuda

16 April 2020

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