PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has joined a league of nations in offering aid to the Philippines in the wake of the destruction brought by Typhoon Haiyan.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak tweeted on Sunday that “Malaysia stands ready to provide assistance and support”.
In the tweet, he also offered condolences to those affected by the typhoon, described as the worst natural disaster recorded in the Philippines with a death toll of more than 10,000 people as of now.
Following Najib’s statement, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein yesterday contacted Philippines Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin to determine the aid required.
“Urgent need of water, electricity, (and) food. Malaysia will help,” he said in his Twitter message after his telephone conversation with Gazmin.
An aide to Hishammuddin said the amount of aid to be sent was being determined by the authorities.
Last Friday, the typhoon sent tsunami-like waves and strong winds across the Philippine archipelago, causing severe damages in the provincial capital of Leyte and cutting off communications in the affected areas.
Malaysian Ambassador to the Philippines Datuk Mohd Zamri Mohd Kassim said there were no reports of any Malaysians affected by the storm so far.
“Our consul-general in Davao is on the ground to get an accurate report of the extent of the damage and to find out if any of our citizens need help,” he said.
Currently, about 700-odd Malaysians were registered with the embassy in Manila.
The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur has been receiving enquiries by Filipinos in Malaysia who had lost touch with their relatives in the affected areas. There are about 550,000 Philippine citizens here.
In a statement, World Vision Malaysia chief executive officer Liew Tong Ngan said the organisation appealed to the global community to raise US$20mil (RM64mil) for the victims in the Philippines.
“Typhoon Haiyan has affected 18 of our Area Development Program-mes and has impacted, in varying degree, communities where we work with around 34,460 registered children.
“Even as we speak, Haiyan heads towards Vietnam and we fear more destruction to come. We foresee a long and arduous road in the rebuilding ahead,” he said.
Those who wish to donate to the World Vision cause can contact the organisation at 03-7880 6414.
Others who want to offer material or cash aid can find more information on the embassy’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/PhlembassyKL.