SEPANG: Malaysia has sent the third humanitarian mission under the ‘Negaraku prihatin (My caring nation)’ campaign to provide basic daily necessities to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak led the send-off of the 56.6 tonne Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) cargo consisting of biscuits, sanitary pads, towels, toothbrushes, disposable diapers, blankets and other necessities, at the MAB cargo village here about 2.30pm today.
At the event, Najib also inspected the shipment which was the largest humanitarian cargo from Malaysia for the Rohingya to date. It is expected to arrive at Shah Amanat airport, Chittagong, at 4.25pm Bangladesh time.
The mission which was coordinated by 1Malaysia for Youth (iM4U), MAB and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), aimed to express the concern shared by the government and Malaysians by lending a helping hand to the Rohingya refugees who are taking shelter at the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.
Also present were the newly-minted MAS group chief executive officer Captain Izham Ismail, MAHB managing director Datuk Badlisham Ghazali and 1M4U chief executive officer Rudy Malik.
Izham said this was MAB's second flight to help in the mission and the organisation would continue its participation.
"We hope that this aid will relieve the suffering of the people of Rohingya. This is the spirit of 'Negaraku Prihatin' and I am very proud that I represent Malaysia airlines," he told reporters at the event.
Rudy, who will be leading the shipment this time, said during the despatch of the second cargo on Oct 7, eight iM4U personnel were sent to assess the situation on the ground to identify the refugees' real needs.
"We were there for a week earlier this month and we visited two camps. It was devastating to see how they lack even the most basic necessities.
"They told us they do not even have a proper place to relieve themselves (due to the lack of latrines). They also lack access to clean water as the sources are limited to the ones approved by the Bangladeshi government, while water at other locations are feared to contain arsenic.
"The camps are situated on a hilly area and they are teeming with refugees who look like zombies. They do not know what to do or if they have anything to eat the next day," he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had on Oct 16, announced that Malaysia would build a RM3.5 million field hopsital in the refugee camps and its construction is expected to begin in November, after obtaining the Bangladesh government's approval.
Members of the public who want to contribute in the 'Negaraku prihatin' mission may donate to iM4U disaster relief fund to Maybank account 5643-2460-5701 or send basic relief materials to designated aid collection centres.