KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has offered to help Australia to combat its deadly bush fire, which has especially escalated in the southeastern part of the country killing at least 23 people.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the assistance includes deploying the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) and Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART) personnel and assets to help Australian firefighters to put out the devastating bush fires.
“I am deeply saddened to learn about the massive bush fires that have caused the loss of lives and extensive damage in Australia.
“On behalf of the Malaysian Government, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the victims, their families and all those affected.
“Malaysia stands ready to extend necessary assistance including the deployment of the Nadma and SMART assets and personnel to help put out the fires as soon as possible and to support rescue operations in Australia,” said Dr Wan Azizah in a statement issued by the Deputy Prime Minister's Office.
The statement was posted on her Twitter account as well as shared by Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia, Andrew Goledzinowski via commissioner’s official twitter handle @AusHCMalaysia.
Goledzinowski also shared a Twitter posting by Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, who had echoed the statement by Dr Wan Azizah.
“(I am) deeply saddened to hear of the continued bush fires ravaging across several states in the east coast of Australia.
“Our thoughts and prayers are for everyone affected by the disaster.
“Malaysia stands ready to extend assistance in support of efforts to overcome this disaster,” said Saifuddin via his Twitter handle @saifuddinabd.
Saifuddin’s Twitter posting was accompanied by a picture of Australian firefighters battling it out to control the bush fires, which reportedly has escalated in the southeastern part of the country.
According to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the death toll as of Saturday had reached 23 people with 3,000 army reservists called up to assist firefighters to battle the wildfires.
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-Australia said a billion animals would have died from the infernos that have swept across eastern Victoria and southern New South Wales (NSW) states.
Earlier today, Iskandar member of parliament Lim Kit Siang also proposed for Malaysia to offer help to Australia to overcome the bush fire crisis.
“Australia is facing an unprecedented bush fire crisis, which is reported to be entering a dangerous new phase with high temperatures and strong winds set to exacerbate the already devastating fire conditions across the country,” he said in a statement.
Goledzinowski yesterday took to Twitter and praised Malaysians for their generosity and sympathy towards the situation beleaguering his home country.
“Malaysians have a big heart. Just today, one minister (had described) Australia is like a second home to many of us.
“Another minister (had said that he or she) ‘has spoken to JAWI (Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department) and asked the mosques to do special prayers’.
“A businessman (had offered): ‘How can we help?’ When you need a friend… turn to a Malaysian,” he said.