James Kon & Lyna Mohamad
Thousands of medical supplies and protective equipment were donated for the use of patients and frontliners in curbing the outbreak of COVID-19 in Brunei Darussalam.
Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong handed over the contributions from the Foreign Affairs Office of Nanjing Municipal People’s Government and corporate companies from the People’s Republic of China to Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar at the Ministry of Health (MoH) yesterday.
A total of 30,000 surgical face masks from the Foreign Affairs Office of Nanjing Municipal People’s Government were handed over by Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Brunei Darussalam Yu Hong to the ministers.
Also, 21,000 unit face masks, 10,000 gloves and 1,000 units of protective clothing were donated by Nanjing Chemical Construction Co Ltd and NJNCC (B) Sdn Bhd, handed over by Lim HII Tuan.
Overall, Nanjing has donated 10,000 medical gloves, 51,000 surgical face masks and 1,000 disposal medical coveralls.
The friendly relationship between Brunei Darussalam and Nanjing was elevated since 2011 when both cities signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for establishing sister cities between Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam and Nanjing, People’s Republic of China. The MoU was signed in the presence of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, and State Council of the People’s Republic of China to Brunei Darussalam Premier Wen Jiabao.
Chinese Ambassador Yu Hong said, “The friendship between China and Brunei has a long history. The city of Nanjing witnessed not only the profound friendship between the two countries, but also the friendly exchanges between us through the maritime silk road. More than 600 years ago, the King of Boni visited China and left a wish to “be buried in China”, which reflects the two countries’ friendship with shared future and mutual support. Nanjing and the capital of Brunei, Bandar Seri Begawan, signed the sister cites agreement in 2011 and they are the only pair of sister cities between China and Brunei.
“During the State Visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Brunei in 2018, the sister cities agreement was renewed witnessed by the leaders of the two countries. With the joint efforts from both sides, Nanjing and Bandar Seri Begawan will further strengthen their cooperation in various fields, with frequent people-to-people exchanges and deepening friendship.”
As Brunei is currently facing the COVID-19 outbreak, she said “the Nanjing Government and its people feel empathy and would like to extend their sincere support to Brunei. Nanjing Municipal People’s Government through Nanjing Chemical Construction Co Ltd and NJNCC (B) Sdn Bhd urgently raised a batch of anti-pandemic items for contribution, hoping to join Brunei’s efforts to fight against the pandemic. We believe that with the concerted efforts from the Government and people of Brunei, the outbreak will be overcome soon. China firmly supports Brunei in combating the pandemic and will continue to provide support, to the best of its ability, to Brunei according to its need, to jointly tide over the difficulties.”
A further 5,000 unit of face masks were donated by China State Construction, handed over by Goh Hee Kuang, and 10,000 unit of face masks by China State Construction Engineering Corp Ltd, presented by Shan Tzi Gang.
On behalf of the Government of His Majesty, the Minister of Home Affairs conveyed his gratitude to the donors.
Deputy Permanent Secretaries at the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Health were also present at the ceremony.
Meanwhile, more contributions of medical items and electrical appliances were received from local businesses and association yesterday.
Receiving on behalf of MoH was Deputy Permanent Secretary (Policy and Management) at the MoH Haji Maswadi bin Haji Mohsin at the Health Promotion Centre of the MoH.
Fu Zhou Shiyyi Association led by its President Jackson Ting donated 200 sets of AICARE Infrared Thermometer.
Jackson Ting said since Brunei detected the first case of COVID-19 on March 9, the association has been very concerned about the spread of the pandemic and is actively responding to the preventive guidelines by MoH.
He also thanked the association’s advisors and committee members for their generosity.
Fu Zhou entrepreneurs were also among the list of donors yesterday with Aifa Sdn Bhd donating 20 sets of Aifa air purifiers and 10 sets of Aifa water dispensers; Ezy Printing Services and Trading Co Sdn Bhd donated 6,000 pieces of surgical face masks; and Hamitan Groups contributed 600 bottles of disinfectants.
Presenting on behalf of Aifa was its Managing Director who is also the Fu Zhou Shiyyi Association Vice President Dr Andy Lau. Ezy Printing was represented by Managing Director Dato Gilbert Tiong and Hamitan was represented by General Manager Alan Lau.
Also, the New Village Mutual Aid Association Seria and Chinese Engineering Association donated 581 pieces of surgical gowns, presented by Chairman Yang Chow Min. Happy Star Trading contributed 45 units of Hetaida Non-Contact Infrared Body Thermometer, presented by a representative.
Meanwhile, the MoH also received cash donations of BND5,000 each from Zulkader and Company (represented by Mohammad Ashmeer), Pizza Hut Brunei (represented by Marketing Manager Nur Faizah binti Jaafar) and Syarikat Ghanimi Contractor Sdn Bhd (represented by Manager Haji Hadanan bin Haji Yahya). Acting Assistant Director of Project Development at MoH Md Shahrin bin Haji Sharbini received the donations.