Coronavirus: 13 companies in Singapore donate 100,000 masks, 5 tonnes of hand sanitisers to Batam

A virtual ceremony marking the official handover was organised. The effort was organised by the Economic Development Board.
A virtual ceremony marking the official handover was organised. The effort was organised by the Economic Development Board.PHOTO: EDB

SINGAPORE - Thirteen companies here donated 100,000 KN95 masks and five tonnes of hand sanitisers to Batam on Monday (May 11) in an effort organised by Singapore's Economic Development Board (EDB).

The donation by the 13 companies, 11 of which have operations in Batam, will go to front-line healthcare workers.

A virtual ceremony marking the official handover was witnessed by Indonesia's Ambassador to Singapore Ngurah Swajaya and the participating companies' representatives.

Chairman of EDB, Dr Beh Swan Gin, represented the Singapore group, while the Mayor of Batam Muhammad Rudi received the donation on behalf of the city's government.

Batam is the largest city in Indonesia's province of Riau Islands. The country has reported more than 14,000 cases of Covid-19, while nearly 1,000 people have died from the disease - the highest fatality rate in South-east Asia.

It is currently in partial lockdown, with a ban on gatherings of more than five people, limited public transport and mandatory work-from-home arrangements in selected cities.

Its officials said discussions about an "exit strategy" have begun so that the economy - the region's largest - can be completely reopened by late July or early August.

Dr Beh said Indonesia and Singapore share a close and longstanding relationship, with the Republic's links to Batam bringing benefits to both sides for more than three decades.

"It is therefore crucial that during these challenging times, we continue to strengthen this close relationship in preparation for the eventual recovery, and for the years to come," he said.

 
 

Singapore has been Indonesia's largest investor since 2014, and regular ferries run between Singapore and Batam.

The contributors are Aik Moh Paints and Chemicals, Excelitas Technologies Singapore, fragrance and flavour company Firmenich Asia, Infineon Technologies Asia Pacific, Panasonic Industrial Devices Singapore, the Salim Group, Sembcorp Marine, Shimano (Singapore), Sinar Mas Land, Singapore, Epson Industrial, Sunningdale Tech, Toshiba TEC Singapore and Yokogawa Electric Asia.

The Sunday Times reported last month that SGPeduli, a group of Singaporeans living and working in Jakarta, raised funds and secured protective gear such as hazmat suits, masks and face shields for distribution in the capital.

 
 
 

Singapore-born coal tycoon Low Tuck Kwong of Bayan Resources has also donated $2 million, while the philanthropic arm of Temasek Holdings has also given, among other things, test kits, ventilators and hand sanitisers to help in Indonesia's testing efforts.

The Singapore Government has contributed 30,000 diagnostic tests and five polymerase chain reaction machines, which detect Covid-19, as well as 1,050 sets of personal protective equipment, 100 viral transport media and four thermal scanners.