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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs    28 August  2012

Malaysian mission to help Ronhingya refugees

Some were in high spirits, others burst into tears.

Hundreds from the Rohingya refugee community turned up to support a humanitarian mission by the Putera 1Malaysia Club to help their ethnic group. They were led by chairman of the Union of World Rohingya Organisation, Rashed Osman.

The club will be leading the humanitarian mission to aid Rohingyas in Bangladesh and on the Thai-Myanmar border this Friday.

“I was surprised to see such a large group of refugees. Although they cannot go themselves, the Rohingya are here to show their support,” said club president Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim.

At least 44 volunteers are confirmed for the mission to Bangladesh.

Abdul Azeez hoped the number would increase to 60 by the end of the week as many Rohingya refugees were also eager to get involved.

“About half of the volunteers are doctors who will be helping to open a clinic there and perform health checks.

“The team will be bringing US$100,000 (310,000 ringgit) worth of medical supplies,” he said, adding that the public can still do their part by buying an aid package worth 100 ringgit containing food and essentials at Giant or Mydin.

The Royal Malaysian Navy has started shipping 480 tonnes of essential items.

The team will leave Port Klang for Chittagong, Bangladesh on Friday. They will head to a campsite on the border of Myanmar by foot after that and are expected to return to Malaysia on September 10.

It is estimated that about 200,000 Rohingyas would benefit from the mission.

“In no way is this a political intervention. We simply want to distribute food, clothing and medicine to the Rohingya, especially women, children and the elderly,” said Abdul Azeez.

He assured that the club had taken measures to ensure the well-being of volunteers, such as providing life insurance and bullet-proof vests.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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