PORT KLANG: Malaysia is concerned about the plight of the Rohingya and wants to do what is right for the downtrodden community.
“We cannot remain silent and be satisfied with mere rhetoric and resolutions,” said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. “We want to say enough is enough.’’
He was speaking to newsmen after flagging off the Food Flotilla For Myanmar vessel at the Boustead Cruise Centre here yesterday.
“The Rohingya have suffered a lot, these people were being murdered and burnt alive, and their women raped,” he said.
He said the flotilla, carrying more than 230 volunteers and 2,200 tonnes of food and other necessities, underscored Malaysia’s efforts to help the Rohingya.
The food and other items were loaded onto the Nautical Aliya and a barge.
It is a joint initiative by the Putera 1Malaysia Club, Consultative Council of Islam Organisations, and NGOs from 13 countries.
The flotilla, which is on a 20-day voyage, will travel to Yangoon Port and then to Teknaf in Bangladesh where there is also a large community of destitute Rohingya.
At a press conference later Najib said Malaysia was trying to get the Myanmar government’s permission to sail directly to Sittwe where the Rohingya was in serious need of help.
The Myanmar government has yet to give its approval, according to reports.
On whether the mission would adversely affect bilateral ties between Malaysia and Myanmar, Najib said it was a humanitarian mission and not political in nature.
“It is our contribution based on the principle of humanity and it is the best way we can help,’’ he said.
He said the mission was also historic because both Umno and PAS jointly worked on it.
Also at the flag-off were PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man and party secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan.
Putera 1Malaysia Club president Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, who leads the mission, said the vessels would arrive on Feb 9.
It will be met by Malaysian ambassador to Myanmar, Mohd Haniff Abd Rahman, and that country’s welfare minister.
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