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CARI Briefings: Fostering Public Health Safety & Economic Resilience for a Borderless Community in ASEAN



Countries around the globe are cautiously reopening their economies even though the World Health Organization has warned that the number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise and the fight against the pandemic is far from over.

The number of COVID-19 cases in ASEAN has exceeded 195,000 while the number of deaths is around 5,500. Mitigating measures implemented by countries such as Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia are beginning to show results as observed from the flattening of the curve in COVID-19 cases but the rising number of cases in Indonesia and the Philippines show that all countries need to remain vigilant. With varying degrees of COVID-19 mitigation currently taking place throughout the region, ASEAN has activated several regional mechanisms to address the situation.

For instance, Malaysia is leading the ASEAN Emergency Operations Centre Network for public health emergencies (ASEAN EOC Network) which provides daily situational updates and information sharing on COVID-19 while the Philippines is leading the ASEAN BioDiaspora Regional Virtual Centre (ABVC) which provides a report that includes COVID-19 situation overview in ASEAN and globally, information on air travel flows between AMS and countries with cases and outbreaks and travel restrictions.

Join our discussion as we speak to the Director-General of Health Malaysia, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, on Malaysia’s efforts in containing COVID-19 and how ASEAN as a region is progressing in terms of safely restarting its economy while ensuring the health of its people.

Speaker’s profile

Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah is a Senior Consultant Surgeon in Breast and Endocrine Surgery, Putrajaya Hospital and the current Director-General of Health Malaysia since March 2013. Prior to that, he was the Deputy Director-General of Health (Medical) between January 2008 and February 2013.

His area of expertise is in breast endocrine cancers, with numerous published papers and textbook chapters in endocrine surgery. He trained in breast and endocrine surgery under the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Fellowship training programme and obtained his Master of Surgery and Medical Degrees from the National University of Malaysia.

He chairs multiple medical professional councils and national-level technical committees and is actively involved as a policymaker in global organisations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi). He is also a Councillor-at-Large (2017-2021) in the Executive Board of the International Society of Surgery (ISS) and chairs the Global Surgery Committee of ISS. In March 2020, he was elected as the Chairman of the Asian Association of Endocrine Surgeons.

Dr Noor Hisham has been conferred numerous local and international awards including the prestigious Fellowship Ad Hominem of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 2018 for his contributions toward healthcare. In 2019, he was given the honour to deliver the distinguished Martin Allgöwer Lecture at the 48th World Congress of Surgery in Krakow, Poland.

His special interest lies in enhancing universal healthcare coverage to marginalised communities and bringing personalised healthcare back to the community and home through digital technology and creative innovation.

Moderator’s profile

Tan Sri Dr Munir is currently Chairman of CIMB ASEAN Research Institute, of the Financial Services Professional Board, of ASEAN Business Advisory Council, Malaysia, as well as President of the ASEAN Business Club. He also sits on the board of the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia and is board chairman of the Institute for Capital Market Research Malaysia (ICMR). He is an active advocate of deeper ASEAN economic integration.

He has extensive experience and is well known in the Malaysian corporate world. He is formerly the Chairman of Bank Muamalat Malaysia Berhad (2008-2020). He had been the Group Editor of the New Straits Times, first executive chairman of CIMB and founding chairman of the Malaysian Securities Commission. After stepping down from the Securities Commission, he became Independent Non-Executive Director of Telekom Malaysia Berhad, Chairman of Celcom (Malaysia) Berhad and Non-Executive Chairman of Malaysian Airline System Berhad. He was Founder President of the Kuala Lumpur Business Club, established in 2003 and is a member of the Court of Fellows of the Malaysian Institute of Management.

Tan Sri Dr Munir obtained a B.Sc (Econ) and PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in 1971 and 1978. He is an Honorary Fellow of LSE and continues the long association with his alma mater as Visiting Senior Fellow at the Centre of International Affairs, Diplomacy and Strategy. Tan Sri Dr Munir is an associate of Southeast Asia Centre (SEAC) at LSE.

Further information

By invitation only. Registered participants will receive webinar details prior to the event.

RSVP by Thursday, 30 July 2020.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Ms Christine Wood


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