Oil and Gas Trust Fund to pay for vaccine in Malaysia
The Malaysian government made an emergency decision in late April to use the national trust fund derived from oil and gas contributions to pay for vaccine procurement in its fight to curb the COVID-19 outbreak. The fund was founded by companies involved in the development of domestic oil and gas resources such as the state-owned oil and gas company Petronas and has been used to support infrastructure development, and national land development. However, there are concerns about the enormous damage to the entire national economy due to COVID-19 and there is an urgent need for the government to curb the spread of infections. The decision is expected to make available RM17.4 bil (US$4.23bil) in funding. The target of the Malaysian government is to vaccinate 80% of the population of 32 mil by the end of the year. The situation is serious, with the number of new COVID-19 cases exceeding 9,000 on May 29, the highest ever in the country. The lockdown has started from Jun 1 in all over Malaysia and will continue until Jun 14.