SMART team to leave for Iran soon

  • Nation
  • Monday, 29 Dec 2003

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia will join relief crews worldwide being sent to Iran, following the devastating earthquake that killed tens of thousands of people in the south-eastern part of the country on Friday.  

The Special Malaysian Disaster Relief and Rescue Team (SMART), which will leave in the next few days, is one of the efforts taken by the Malaysian government, following Iran’s call for international help. 

Wisma Putra is also making efforts to send a medical team under Mercy Malaysia. 

An emergency assessment team from Mercy Malaysia left for Iran last night.  

Mercy Malaysia personnel Mohammad Sham Awalluddin (left) and Datuk Dr Omar Said Ahmad (right) who later departed for Iran, discussing the mission with Aris Omar (second from left) and Dr Dil Shaad Abas Ali at the KLIA departure lounge.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has announced the Government’s contribution of US$500,000 (RM1.9mil) to help Iran, as the international community mobilised a major global relief operation. 

Abdullah told the national Christmas open house gathering on Friday that the Government would send a team to the city of Bam. 

In Kota Kinabalu, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said the Fire and Rescue Department, especially the members of SMART, were waiting for further instructions from the Prime Minister’s Office before they leave for their search and rescue mission in Iran. 

They are ready to go upon instructions from the PM’s Office, which oversees SMART operations, he told reporters after receiving donations from the Sabah Wanita MCA for the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (Utar) building fund. 

Ong received RM398,871, of which RM300,000 was from the state Wanita MCA while the rest was from the movement’s divisions in Marudu, Beaufort and Tanjung Aru. 

More reports in our World section and via AP-Wire.

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