Tzu-Chi, AirAsia, Rohingyas and Fujifilm offer help for Myanmar Cyclone victims

Tzu-Chi, AirAsia, Rohingyas and Fujifilm offer help for Myanmar Cyclone victims

(1) Rohingyas: Help our countrymen

Saturday May 10, 2008

JOHOR BARU: They may be hard-pressed for money, but Myanmar refugees want to come forward to help their compatriots back home after the devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis.

Myanmar Ethnic Rohingyas Human Rights Organisation Malaysia president Zafar Ahmad Mohd Abdul Ghani said it was time to show their solidarity, regardless of religious beliefs.

“We have asked our people to donate whatever they can afford, regardless of whether they are Muslim, Buddhist or Christian.

“Any problem that affects our brothers and sisters back home affects us, too,” he said, adding that it had been extremely difficult to contact their loved ones in Myanmar as communication lines were down.

He hoped the international community would come forward to provide long-term assistance to help Myanmar get back on its feet again.

“Please don’t come today and leave tomorrow. Thousands have died or been made homeless,” he said.

Rohingya Islamic Refugee Community Pro-Democracy Organisation chairman Mustafa Kamal urged the Myanmar community in Malaysia to donate RM1 each towards aid efforts.

He said there were as many as 14,000 Rohingya refugees in the country who were registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

“We hope the aid organisations will hand over the money directly to those affected as we are afraid half the money may be swallowed by the military junta,” he said.

He also urged donors to ensure that the aid was channelled through credible avenues and organisations.


(2) AirAsia ready to fly global aid to cyclone-hit Myanmar

KUALA LUMPUR: AirAsia is coming forward to offer air assistance to transport aid to cyclone-hit Myanmar.

The assistance includes sponsoring flights for aid workers and freeing up cargo space for aid materials, said the budget carrier in a statement yesterday.

“This will be a collaborated effort from the AirAsia Group and AirAsia X across more than 100 destinations, utilising its extensive network in all the Asean countries including China and Australia,” said the airline.

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and aid and humanitarian agencies as well as members of the public from around the region, can send in their requests to transport aid to

Each request will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and is subject to seat availability, the airline said.

AirAsia has five flights daily to Bangkok, while its Bangkok hub currently provides daily flights to Yangon.


(3)Fujifilm proves that ‘saving lives’ is not merely a tagline

PETALING JAYA: Fujifilm (M) Sdn Bhd became the latest corporate company to contribute to The Star Myanmar Relief Fund, as donations continue to pour in for the victims of Cyclone Nargis.

Fujifilm senior executive director Paul N. C. Ho presented a cheque for RM50,000 to Star Publications (M) Bhd executive director and group chief operating officer Datin Linda Ngiam here yesterday.

“We appreciate the fundraising initiative by The Star to help those in Myanmar, whose people and country have been devastated in recent days,” Ho said, adding that the contribution was in line with the company’s message, From Saving Precious Moments to Saving Lives, derived from its medical systems business. (Fujifilm Malaysia’s medical equipment line includes radiography and X-ray devices.)

In IPOH, the Lions Club of Ipoh Host made a “spur of the moment” donation of RM20,000 to The Star Myanmar Relief Fund.

 Aid for Myanmar: Ngiam (right) receiving the M50,000 cheque from Ho at Menara Star in Petaling Jaya on Friday.

“We were having lunch when we decided to donate,” club president Justin Koo Sau Foh said when dropping off a cheque at The Star office here yesterday.
Koo said that reading about the sufferings of the Myanmar people in The Star had prompted the board members to act.
“We knew we had to do something to help the Myanmar people,” he said, adding that the club had ready funds to help those in need. 

A total of RM191,716.63 was collected by The Star yesterday. More than RM100,000 came from cheques received through the mail.


(4) Tzu-Chi sends recce team to Yangon

PENANG: A nine-man reconnaissance team from the Tzu-Chi Merit Society will be deployed to Yangon today to determine the feasibility of providing medical and humanitarian assistance to cyclone-affected victims.

The team, which departs from KLIA at 10 am today, will be in Myanmar for a week.

Team member Lee Chong Hoo, 38, said the team and a Thai national would carry out an assessment of the situation on the ground in the devastated nation.

They will bring 65kg of instant rice and 100kg of instant noodles to distribute to victims.

Lee said some 50 volunteers, comprising pharmacists, doctors and nurses, had been put on standby, ready to be mobilised at any time.