KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia’s glove giants will contribute 400 million ringgit ($97 million) towards government efforts to purchase COVID-19 vaccines and health equipment, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said on Friday.
The minister in his 2021 budget announcement said the four major glove manufacturers – Top Glove, Hartalega, Supermax and Kossan – had indicated their commitment to help fight COVID-19.
The funds would be used to partially cover the cost of the COVID-19 vaccine as well as expenses for health equipment, he said.
The world’s largest glove maker, Top Glove, which is eyeing a Hong Kong listing as it rides a wave of demand generated by the coronavirus outbreak, said it would contribute 185 million ringgit.
“We are fortunate to be doing well this year and are very grateful for the opportunity to give back to and assist our country and government, which has been very supportive towards the glove industry,” the company told Reuters in a text message.
Other companies could not immediately be reached for comment out of normal working hours.
Malaysia unveiled an expansionary budget to spur activity in an economy badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, amid uncertainty over the stability of the ruling coalition.
The budget, its biggest ever, sees the government proposing to raise the ceiling of COVID-19 fund by 20 billion ringgit to 65 billion ringgit.
Coronavirus vaccine supply is expected to cost more than 3 billion ringgit, Tengku Zafrul said.
(Reporting by Mei Mei Chu, editing by Louise Heavens)