China's envoy Bai Tian ( Left) met Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (right), the new Minister of Foreign Affairs

KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 — Malaysia’s close relations with many countries has made it easier for the country to receive assistance in the fight against the increasingly alarming COVID-19 outbreak, said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

He said in the current situation Malaysia is not only about helping other countries but also being open to receiving assistance from anyone.

“Wisma Putra, for example, is in constant communication with the Chinese government. Based on this close relations, the Chinese government did not hesitate to provide us with medical equipment such as face masks, hand sanitisers, COVID-19 test kits and protective equipment for the use of our front liners,” he said in a statement today.

He said Malaysia was also working closely with neighbouring country such as Indonesia to share information and to help identify Malaysians who attended the tabligh gathering in the republic.

Malaysia was also partnering with Singapore to assist Malaysians working in the republic who were affected by the Movement Control Order (MCO), and to keep in touch with the counterparts in the Middle East for assistance in combating COVID-19, he said.

“Personally, I do not expect Malaysia to receive such assistance from many countries. I also believe it is not because I am the Foreign Minister.

“But because of their recognition and respect towards Malaysia and consider Malaysia as a close partner in the international community,” he said.

Hishammuddin also urged the public to be disciplined and united in obeying the MCO with the aim of reducing the movement and preventing the spread of the virus.

“It is pointless for Malaysia to receive a lot of assistance, when at the same time, there are those disobeying government’s orders,” he said.

He added that Wisma Putra was also trying to find a solution to bring Malaysians still stranded abroad, despite the fact that there were those who disagree with the fear of increasing the risk of COVID-19.

“The country belongs to them. They have the right to return home at any time. However, I also want to remind those who are being brought home, once they arrive in Malaysia they must obey the MCO,” he said.


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