KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — In their New Year’s message to all Malaysians today, the King and Queen expressed hope that the Covid-19 pandemic that has swept the nation will end once the vaccine arrives next year.
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah also advised politicians to stop fighting and advancing their agendas, which affect the nation’s stability.
The royals also advised the public to be disciplined and observe the Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by the government.
“Hopefully, the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine early next year can help to flatten the pandemic’s curve and stem the virus transmission that has affected the nation for so long.
“Their Majesties always hope that the well-being and prosperity of the masses are protected and this is reliant on the country’s governance and political stability.
“In an effort to maintain that stability, Their Majesties advise all, especially politicians, to cut their political tensions and agenda. Instead, the politicians are advised to join forces and focus on the people’s welfare, as well as prioritising the country’s economic recovery processes,” the statement from Istana Negara, issued by the Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin, read.
Ahmad Fadil said that the King and Queen also pray for a peaceful nation as well as a harmonious bond among the many races here, and also expressed their appreciation to the “frontline heroes and heroines” for their sacrifices and dedication in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Their Majesties call on all Malaysians to jointly pray that Malaysia is protected from all forms of threats and is blessed with lasting unity and prosperity,” he added.
Last month, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that Malaysia has finalised an agreement to purchase 12.8 million doses of Pfizer Inc’s Covid-19 vaccine that will start to be delivered in the first quarter of next year.
The doses will be enough to vaccinate 6.4 million people, with the initial shipment of one million doses earmarked for 500,000 frontline health workers.
Muhyiddin added that Malaysia has also closed a deal with Covax Facility for its version of the vaccine, which would be enough for approximately three million Malaysians.
All Malaysians will be vaccinated against Covid-19 without charge, Muhyiddin added.
Muhyiddin said the American pharmaceutical firm has committed to delivering another 1.7 million doses in the second quarter of 2020, followed by 5.8 million and 4.3 million in third and fourth quarters, respectively.
The vaccines will be dispensed based on priority when they arrive, with those in high-risk groups to receive these ahead of the general population, the PM said.
Separately on Twitter, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said efforts would continue to secure more Covid-19 vaccines for the rest of the country.
Malaysia, like much of the world, has effectively been paralysed for most of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The country had appeared to be on the mend after months of various movement control orders since March but Covid-19 returned with a vengeance in October, causing the country to record close to 50,000 new cases since then compared to the 10,000 accumulated up to that point.
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