Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham has been conferred another award for his outstanding contributions in battling the COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia
At a special dialogue held yesterday, 25 August, he was awarded the National Icon Lifetime Achievement Award For Leadership in Public Health by local research institute KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific.
He was invited by the think tank to speak about digital health and technological solutions in the event called 'COVID-19: Malaysia's Journey Towards Flattening the Curve' in conjunction with the 2020 Malaysian Healthcare Conference.
While accepting the award, Dr Noor Hisham took the opportunity to remind everyone that it was not solely his effort, but a team effort of all the frontliners working behind the scenes, for successfully responding to the outbreak.
"We all work as a team for the sake of the rakyat, the King, and the country," he wrote on his Facebook page after the event
"It has been eight long months for many of you on the front lines. Many would feel fatigued or frustrated with every new cluster that emerges. After all, we are human beings," he said.
However, he reminded the frontliners that they are the "protectors of the rakyat's health and our nation's safety" and are the last line of defence in the battle against COVID-19.
"We must keep our spirits up and continue to be strong," he encouraged.
He also thanked the 150 people responsible for organising the almost-daily COVID-19 press conferences that he is only the face of.
"For a 15-minute press conference, we have 150 people analysing the data. This is teamwork, not only within the Ministry of Health (MOH) but other ministries too," he said.
Dr Noor Hisham also credited Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for the latter's decision-making during the pandemic
He said that as an advisor, the Prime Minister had the choice of not listening to him and creating disaster.
"I advise him and he makes the decisions. Do you credit the person as the advisor or do you credit the person making the decisions?" he asked.
"I think the credit should go to the Prime Minister."
He also reminded the public to keep obeying the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by the MOH to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission.
"The public plays a crucial role by fully complying with the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988, and all SOPs set, regardless of who the person is and place.
"Remember, health unites us all. Let us be united in our war against this common enemy."
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