Malaysia uses oil-backed trust fund to pay for vaccines

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Malaysia’s government on Wednesday (Apr 22) enacted a new emergency law allowing it to use funds derived from oil and gas contributions to pay for vaccine procurement, as it looks to ramp up its COVID-19 vaccination programme.

The ordinance will allow the government access to use the 17.4 billion ringgit (US$4.23 billion) parked under the national trust fund to secure vaccines “for an epidemic of any infection disease”, according to the law published in the federal gazette.

The trust fund, which takes contributions from state energy company Petronas and others involved to petroleum exploitation, was set up to support infrastructure and other development and provide federal loans to Malaysia’s states.

Petronas already provides annual dividends to the government, having declared an 18 billion ringgit payout for this year.

 

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