ICRC drivers in Iraq do Malaysia proud

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 26 Jun 2003

KUALA LUMPUR: The eight Malaysian drivers hired by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to ferry relief supplies to Iraq have made Malaysia proud. 

Despite the language barrier, the drivers managed to project a good image of Malaysia through their pleasant attitude and behaviour to the Iraqis, said an ICRC delegate, Isabelle Buorgeois, in an e-mail to Bernama from Kermanshah, Iran. 

Besides bringing assistance, medical supplies, food and other essentials like tents, blankets and wheat flour to the people, the Malaysian drivers also act as couriers for two ICRC Sri Lankan employees, one in Kermanshah and the other in Baghdad. 

Buorgeois quoted Mohamad Zamri Sairen, one of the Malaysians, as saying about the Sri Lankans: “They wrote to each other to cheer up when they felt homesick and when we gave them the letters, they kept thanking us.” 

She quoted another driver, Mohammed Khalid, as saying: “People think we are Afro-Americans, Koreans, Afghans, Indonesians, Filipinos, Israelis or even Japanese! We’ve heard everything – except Malaysians!” 

Another driver, Sher Mohamed Feroz Din said: “The first time we crossed the border, the American troops checked our trucks. After that they let us go without administrative procedures.  

Driver Abu Bakar Khalid recalled being swarmed by a crowd while uploading medical supplies. 

“They thought I was a medical doctor and begged me to provide them with medicines,” he was quoted as saying.  

The other four drivers are Mohd Nazri Mohd Nor, Mohamad Fuzi Abu Bakar, Aslam A. Bus and Rosli Abu Hanipah. – Bernama  

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