PM Najib flags off food flotilla for Myanmar Rohingya community

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak speaks during a ceremony before the Malaysian ship Nautical Aliya, carrying aid and supplies for Rohingya Muslims, set sail to Myanmar at the Boustead Cruise Centre port in Port Klang on Feb 3, 2017. — AFP
Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (C) poses for pictures in front of the Malaysian ship Nautical Aliya carrying aid and supplies for Rohingya Muslims before sailing to Myanmar at the Boustead Cruise Centre port in Port Klang on Feb 3, 2017. — AFP
Aid and supplies for Rohingya Muslims are seen onboard the Malaysian ship Nautical Aliya before sailing to Myanmar at the Boustead Cruise Centre port in Port Klang on Feb 3, 2017. — AFP
Aid and supplies for Rohingya Muslims are seen onboard the Malaysian ship Nautical Aliya before sailing to Myanmar at the Boustead Cruise Centre port in Port Klang on Feb 3, 2017. — AFP

PORT KLANG: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak today flagged off a humanitarian aid mission for the Rohingya in Myanmar, saying the minority community had suffered enough hardship.

"We will not remain silent and be satisfied with resolutions and rhetoric. What I want to say is that the Rohingya have suffered enough ... enough is enough.

"We are following up with humanitarian aid," he said when flagging off the 'Food Flotilla for Myanmar' taking 2,200 tonnes of food and medicines aboard the vessel 'Nautical Aliya' at the Boustead Cruise Centre here this evening.

Najib said the food flotilla was proof that Malaysians did not ignore the plight of the Rohingya.

Efforts to care for the ethnic suffering began at the last Umno General Assembly, he said, adding that it led to the Solidarity Gathering for the Rohingya in December.

"Then came the Extraordinary Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. I did not think of the cost, I wanted the OIC meeting to be held in Kuala Lumpur," he said.

PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man was also present at the flag-off.

The 'Food Flotilla for Myanmar', led by Putera 1Malaysia Club (KP1M) chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, is organised by KP1M and the Malaysian Consultative Council for Islamic Organisations (MAPIM) with the cooperation of the Turkiye Diyanet Vakfi (TDV) Foundation of Turkey.

Najib said he was most touched by the preparation of the mission that would be taking along 2,200 tonnes of food and medicines.

"I was apprehensive at first whether we could get ready such a mission. I went aboard the vessel and saw for myself the 2,200 tonnes of food and medicines - it is indeed a record. These are what we will hand over to the Rohingya.

"I am also touched by the willingness of more than 200 volunteers from 13 countries to join the mission. A doctor was prepared to pay RM200 to go along as a volunteer ... a reflection of the concern of Malaysians," he said.

The Prime Minister said the 'Food Flotilla for Myanmar' also reflected the solidarity of the 'ummah' in Malaysia as representatives from Umno and PAS were also in the mission.

Earlier, at the Al-Qayyum Mosque in Bandar Armada Putra here, Najib joined the special prayers for the safety and protection of the flotilla and an end to the hardship of the Rohingya.

The special prayers were held after the Friday prayers. Both the prayers were led by Tuan Ibrahim of PAS. Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom delivered the Friday sermon.

Others who attended these prayers included Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister and Selangor Barisan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Noh Omar, Abdul Azeez and several Selangor BN state assemblymen.

At the flag-off, Najib said the flotilla was a shining example that when people of a faith came together on the principle of extending assistance in the humanitarian spirit, there was nothing that could not be accomplished.

"Hopefully, this spirit will bring a better future for Muslims and Malaysia," he said.

At a press conference later, Najib said the mission would not strain relations between Malaysia and Myanmar because it pertained to a question of humanity and was not about politics.

"This is our contribution and hope as a government concerned over human rights, this is the best way possible," he said.

Asked about the temporary ban on the citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, Najib said the prohibition did not affect Malaysia.

US President Donald Trump had signed an executive order imposing the ban on citizens of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yaman, Sudan and Somalia.

Among those present at the flag-off were Hishammuddin, Jamil Khir, Noh Omar, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim and Second Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani. — Bernama