In the Same Boat: PM Lauds Unity of UMNO, PAS in the Food Flotilla Mission

Indonesian Aqsa Working Group (AWG) hands over humanitanian aid from Indonesian Muslims to the organizer of the “Food Flotilla Mission”.

Port Klang, 06 Jumadil Awwal 1438/03 February (MINA) –  The food flotilla mission bound for Myanmar is a symbol of the united ummah in Malaysia, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak,.

The mission saw leaders and members from the ruling Umno and opposition Pas parties come together for an important humanitarian cause, quoted Najib as saying.

“At first, I did not expect that a vessel of this size could be prepared for this mission. But, during my visit on board, I saw that this ship is also towing a barge carrying food items for the Rohingya.

“All in all, we have collected over 2,000 tonnes (of food, medicine and basic necessity items), including 1,000 tonnes of rice, as well as dhal and flour to make chapati. And we will deliver this.

“I am touched to see the number of participants who volunteered for this mission and contributed the aid, including a doctor who was willing to pay RM200 as a ticket price so that he could get on board. This is how concerned we Malaysians are.

“This ship also shows unity among the ummah. It is true that on board this ship there are PAS and UMNO members, including the Muslimat (PAS’ women’s wing), and we tried to ensure that the number from both parties on board is balanced,” Najib said in his speech during the mission flag-off ceremony at Boustead Cruise Centre in Pulau Indah here earlier today.


Historical moment

Later, during his press conference, Najib said the flag-off ceremony also marked a historical moment in the country’s politics, wherein UMNO and PAS leaders jointly-led a Friday prayer congregation at Al-Qayyum Mosque in Bandar Armada Putra, here.

He was referring to PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man and UMNO Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, who led the Friday prayer and sermon, respectively.

Along with Najib, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, Deputy International Trade and Industry minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan, among others, were part of the prayer congregation.

Also present for the prayer were Port Klang assemblyman Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who is the former Selangor Menteri Besar, and former Malacca chief minister Tan Sri Ali Rustam.

The flag-off ceremony saw Najib and Tuan Ibrahim sounding the air horn together to mark the Nautical Aliya’s setting sail for Yangon at 4pm.

The mission has the participation of 230 volunteers and non-government organisation members from 13 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Palestine, China, Thailand and Indonesia, among others.

The vessel is expected to arrive at Yangon Port in Myanmar in about four days’ time. (T/RS05/RS01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)