Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Kamaruddin Jaffar has outlined a plan to broaden the scope of Malaysia’s Covid-19 solutions and post-pandemic strategy. According to the minister, speaking at a recent virtual conference, the governments of Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) intend to collaborate more closely, finding solutions to the current crisis, while also working together on strategies for future outbreaks.
Organised by the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations (IDFR), the conference was used as a platform to announce Malaysia’s official partnership with Rabdan Academy; a UAE-based educational institution specialising in security, defence and emergency preparedness. The main long-term objective of the collaboration is to bolster Malaysia’s base of knowledge and resources in facing threats such as Covid-19, while also expanding its international support network to mitigate any future threat.
“This initiative is an impetus for meaningful future relations and deeper cooperation between the two countries,” said the Deputy Foreign Minister. “We hope this will pave the way for more similar collaborations between Malaysia and the UAE,” he added.
“The Malaysian government has launched several economic plans to help the people, as well as small and medium enterprises,” said Mohd Tarid Sufian, who is the Malaysian Ambassador to the UAE. “On this note, our strong relationship with the UAE has helped us to learn and improve our strategies when faced with a health crisis like Covid-19,” he added.
In return, the UAE Ambassador to Malaysia Khalid Ghanem Al Ghaith also commented at the virtual conference, remarking on the special relationship that exists between the two countries: “Malaysia and the UAE share a high level of cooperation through knowledge sharing on combating Covid-19 in each country,” he explained. “Our cooperation [emphasises] the need for global cooperation and the need to exchange learning in combating Covid-19,” added the Ambassador.
Under the new agreement, the Rabdan Academy will play a central role in building Malaysian officials’ capacity and understanding. A series of training programmes will be devised and delivered according to international standards and designed to meet Malaysia’s needs in relation to tourism and foreign affairs.
Dr Faisal Al-Ayyan is the vice president of the Rabdan Academy. He explains the socio-political benefits of the new partnership as follows: “the cooperation covers several areas, such as food security, trade, economic and cultural exchange. We hope to continue this cooperation with our Malaysian partners,” he said.
Malaysia and the UAE have been working closely together throughout the Covid-19 crisis, with the latter donating 20,000 test kits and masks to the former, in exchange for food supplies. To date, the UAE has provided more than 1,279 tonnes of medical aid through 149 medical flights, carrying testing kits, masks and personal protective equipment to 107 countries worldwide. This aid has directly benefited more than 1.28 million healthcare workers around the world.