SEPANG: Coordinated by Buddhist organizations and a foundation, Malaysians contributed some 15 tons of relief items worth RM800,000 in aid of victims where more than 40 million homes have been destroyed in an unprecedented flood in Pakistan.
Witnessed by Minister of Transport Datuk Seri Dr. Wee Ka Siong, Buddhist groups Fo Guang Shan Malaysia and Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA), as well as Yayasan Sin Chew handed over the relief items at KL International Airport on September 15.
Also present at the airport were Mohamad Azhar Mazlan, Undersecretary of South and Central Asia Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Datuk Abdullah Kadir Bacha, general manager of Stakeholders Relations, Malaysia Airports; Salman Wahab, country manager of Pakistan International Airlines, Malaysia; and BLIA volunteers.
Themed as Sending Love & Warmth to Pakistan, the humanitarian mission organized by Fo Guang Shan, BLIA and Yayasan Sin Chew contributed the first batch of relief items comprising of water filters, solar lamps, tents, blankets, towels, jackets, milk powder, soya milk and others to Pakistan.
Dr Wee said Buddhist group Fo Guang Shan extended a helping hand to assist the flood victims in Pakistan where majority of its people are Muslims in a cross-border humanitarian mission.
He urged the business community in Malaysia to contribute in cash and kind, especially medications for the children there.
“The flood victims also need clean water and water filters. More than 40 million people have been affected by the unprecedented floods where 1,500 have been killed and 600 km of roads damaged. More than 200 bridges have also been destroyed,” said Dr Wee.
Venerable Jue Cheng, the Chief Abbess of Fo Guang Shan for Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, said BLIA agreed to launch the humanitarian mission for flood victims in Pakistan immediately after learning about the disaster.
She thanked the support offered by the High Commission of Pakistan in Malaysia to assist in the humanitarian mission.
Yayasan Sin Chew vice chairman Siew Nyoke Chow said after the first flight carrying the relief items to Pakistan took off on Thursday, the foundation is in the midst of preparing for another shipment.
High Commissioner of Pakistan to Malaysia Amna Baloch said the national disaster management team in Pakistan would be distributing the relief items to flood victims in a transparent manner.
She thanked Pakistan International Airlines for ferrying the relief items from Malaysia to Pakistan free of charge.
Datin Seri Yong Chou Lian, president of BLIA Malaysia, took the lead in donating RM150,000 with her husband Datuk Lee Tian Hock, founder of Matrix Concepts Holdings Bhd.
“I am grateful to Yayasan Sin Chew and Fo Guang Shan for raising the funds in just ten days. Ven Jue Cheng leads all BLIA members to accomplish the humanitarian mission,” said Yong.