Somalia Mission:Our Duty To Assist, Says Zahid

PETALING JAYA, Aug 28 – The Malaysian Armed Forces have never turned down requests for compassionate flights, in particular for humanitarian missions, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Despite facing financial constraints, the armed forces, especially the Royal Malaysian Air Force, feel duty bound to undertake such flights, he told reporters here today.

“The Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak)had directed us to help the

1Malaysia Putera Club in their humanitarian mission to Somalia, and we consider it as our responsibility towards the nation to do so,” he said after the mission took off from the Subang airbase near here.

A 76 member team made up of volunteers, media representatives, medical personnel and RMAF crew was on board a C-130 plane piloted by Lt Col Zahani Zainal.

“It is an 18 hour flight with stops in Seychelles and Mali before reaching Mogadishu (Somalia’s capital),” Ahmad Zahid said.

Club president Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim said the team was taking eight tonnes of food, water and medical aid to the famine struck country.

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