Essential medical supplies donated by the Jack Ma Foundation and the Alibaba Foundation arrived on Thursday to assist Malaysia's fight against the COVID-19 virus. The shipment of face masks, test kits, protective suits and face shields came late last night and early this morning at the KL International Airport (KLIA).
YBhg. Datuk Khairul Shahril Bin Idrus, Deputy Director General of the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA), received the donation from Leo Chow, CEO of Lazada Malaysia representing the Jack Ma Foundation and the Alibaba Foundation. NADMA has been entrusted to distribute the supplies throughout the nation.
This shipment is part of a wider donation initiative to four Southeast Asian countries including Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines first announced on March 19. The four nations will collectively receive a total of 2 million face masks, kits for testing 150,000 people, 20,000 protective suits and 20,000 face shields.
"We hope our donation will help the ongoing national effort in Malaysia to curtail the spread of COVID-19. Even though transportation of the medical supplies is becoming ever more challenging by the day, we leveraged the strength of the Malaysia electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) hub to get it done as fast as we could," said James Song, Secretary General of the eWTP office.
Tapping on the cross-border logistic capabilities of the eWTP hub in Malaysia – the first overseas eWTP hub in the world – medical supplies were delivered promptly despite the challenge in movement of all goods worldwide due to the pandemic. The hub continues to play an instrumental role in the shipment of goods and medical supplies to various countries in the region since the outbreak.
The eWTP initiative is a not-for-profit initiative first proposed by Jack Ma in 2016 to help foster a more integrated and inclusive environment for cross-border electronic trade. Launched in 2017, the e-fulfilment hub based at the KL International Airport (KLIA) is a key component of the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ), a strategic cross-border eCommerce initiative driven by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) together with various ministries and agencies in Malaysia. The e-fulfilment hub at KLIA functions as customs clearance, warehousing and fulfilment centre for the region.
MDEC CEO Surina Shukri said, "At this critical point, the eWTP hub in Malaysia is playing a pivotal role in the distribution of supplies for COVID-19 relief donated by the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation. Delivery of the donations is being routed through the regional e-fulfilment hub in KLIA, which is Alibaba's first eWTP hub outside of China established under the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) initiative. Leveraging on the collaboration between Alibaba and logistics players in Malaysia, the hub will be able to facilitate cross-border logistics to ensure delivery of medical supplies to countries in need to fight Covid-19."
This donation is among a number of aid initiatives from the Alibaba Foundation and Jack Ma Foundation to support the areas of the world most affected by the COVID-19 crisis. This includes sourcing and delivering various types of medical supplies to China, Southeast Asia, United States, Africa, Italy, Belgium, France, Slovenia, Spain and Latin America. The Foundations are also funding research and development of COVID-19 virus treatment options in China and at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Australia) and Columbia University (USA). Further donations are expected to be announced over the coming days and weeks.