Regional effort vital in combating Zika, says Malaysian PM Najib

PM Najib Razak urged policy makers in the region to work more closely together in facing the virus, which has already been detected in Malaysia.
PM Najib Razak urged policy makers in the region to work more closely together in facing the virus, which has already been detected in Malaysia.PHOTO: THE STAR/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Close cooperation between Malaysia and its neighbouring countries is "absolutely vital" to deal with the Zika virus, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

He urged policy makers in the region to work more closely together in facing the virus, which has already been detected in Malaysia.

"As I speak, we are now being hit by Zika virus. Singapore has been badly hit and the first Malaysian infected with Zika has been detected.

"Close cooperation with our neighbours is absolutely vital to deal with the threat of communicable diseases like the Zika virus," Mr Najib said in his speech at the 9th General Assembly of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) here.

He said no country could afford to deal with the threat of the virus by working in isolation.

"No country is an island. It's a cliché to say but its becoming increasingly true whether you talk about communicable diseases, terrorism, economic threats, while the plethora of challenges we face cannot be addressed effectively without the spirit of working together," he said.