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Malaysia Helps Earthquake-Hit Turkiye And Syria With More Than RM9.6 Million

Malaysia Helps Earthquake-Hit Turkiye And Syria With More Than RM9.6 Million

Malaysia is among the first to offer help with rescue efforts after the massive earthquakes.

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The Malaysian government will channel over USD2 million (RM8.6 mil) in aid to Turkiye and Syria following the devastating earthquakes on Monday (6 Feb).

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said USD1 million (RM4.3 mil) was from the Malaysian Government, while the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, contributed the rest.

Speaking at a press conference, he added that the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) contributed another RM1 million.

The problem in Syria is complicated because of flight constraints, and the cost is too high for us, but we agree to channel the Malaysian Government’s funds. We also hope that aid from Malaysians who sympathize will reach people in Turkiye and Syria.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim calling on lending assistance to Turkiye and Syria.

Anwar pointed out that Syria is facing sanctions and other problems; hence Malaysia will channel it through the Red Cross.

The Honorary Consul of Malaysia in Syria will ensure funds and medicine are channelled through the Red Cross.

Extra Helping Hands

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Government have also sent 70 more members of the Malaysian Special Search and Rescue Team (SMART) to Turkiye to help with search and rescue operations.

The second group was dispatched after the effectiveness of their presence was highlighted by the first team while in Turkiye.

Of that number, 20 members are from the SMART group, another 20 are from the Malaysian Civil Defense Force (APM), and 30 are from the Fire and Rescue Department.

Anwar added Turkiye manages the flights for the Malaysian rescue team through Turkish Airlines to reduce the burden on Malaysia’s part.

At the same time, he said the Ministry of Defense is preparing a team of doctors and paramedics.

They will act in tandem with the SMART team in Turkey to form a field hospital that can be moved within 48 hours.

Meanwhile, netizens wish the Malaysian rescue team all the best as they embark on their humanitarian effort.

Donation Drive

Many local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) also call on Malaysians to lend a hand through donations.

Ahmad Fahmi Samsuddin from Global Peace Mission (GPM) said they are assembling a humanitarian relief team which will depart to Gaziantep, Turkey, on Friday (10 Feb).

Together with Malaysia For Syria and some 20 NGOs from Malaysia and Indonesia, they raised an initial sum of RM250,000 for the effort.

We will send items of winter necessities estimated at around RM150,000 in cooperation with the Turkish Embassy and Turkish Airlines.

GPM chief executive officer Ahmad Fahmi Samsuddin to TRP on the aid to be sent over to Turkiye.

GPM would also assist, among others, by setting up field kitchens in earthquake-affected areas.

It would also collaborate with the Foreign Ministry and National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma).

At the same time, other NGOs, such as the Malaysia Consultative Council of Islamic Organisations (Mapim), called on Malaysians to offer their prayers and plead for God’s mercy for those suffering from the earthquakes.

Meanwhile, the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) will commence a donation drive at mosques under its purview (Masjid Negara, Masjid Putra and Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, Putrajaya) for the next three Fridays beginning tomorrow (10 Feb).

Also joining the initiative is the Federal Territories Islamic Department (Jawi) at all mosques and surau in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan.

The donations collected will be channelled to the official funds managed by the Malaysian government to help earthquake victims in Turkiye and Syria.

In announcing this, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Mohd Naim Mokhtar urged all state Islamic authorities to carry out the same initiative.

“Dost” Is The Way To Say “Friend” In Turkish

A Turkish NGO leader, Hidayetullah Oguzhan, said the country appreciates Malaysia’s help in this crisis.

Malaysia was among the first countries to respond when Turkiye asked for assistance. a friend in need is a friend indeed. This time, we saw them in the list of the first countries to respond.

Turkish NGO leader Hidayet Oguzhan to TRP on Turkiye’s appreciation for Malaysia.

Oguzhan, from the İnternational Union of East Türkistan Organizations, recalled when Malaysian NGOs sent help during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said Malaysia always shows significant efforts in building international solidarity between nations and countries.

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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (left) is a close friend of the President of Turkiye, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (Pix: Anwar Ibrahim/Facebook)
Malaysia is among the handful of countries that stepped up to help Turkiye and Syria. (Source: Statista)

At the same time, Oguzhan called on all Malaysian organizations, charities and communities to send more aid, including financial and human power, to the affected region.

He said whatever little would help the many Turkish and Syrians who had been anguished by the loss of lives and property damage due to the earthquakes. 

Turkiye is no stranger to strong earthquakes, as it is located along tectonic plate boundaries.

Seven quakes with magnitude 7.0 or greater have struck the country in the past 25 years – but Monday’s was among the strongest.

At the time of writing, more than 15,000 people are known to have died, with more casualties expected.

The magnitude 7.8 and 7.6 quakes are classified as ‘major’ on the Richter scale. (Source: Al Jazeera)

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