Jun 7, 2010

Rethink Gaza aid channels, urges Tun Mahathir

KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 — A new assessment on the effectiveness of shipping humanitarian relief aid to Gaza has to be made to ensure the aid reaches the people of Gaza, said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said: “We have to make an assessment first as to the effectiveness of the method of bringing relief to Gaza. This is not just a propaganda.

“We are very worried that cement, for example, is not allowed by the Israelis to be imported into Gaza. They (Palestinians) may make use of it to build military bunkers to fight against them (Israelis), but without the cement they (Palestinians) cannot build the houses,” said Dr Mahathir when asked on the next move of the Perdana Global Peace Organisation (PGPO) to bring aid to the Gazans following the hijacking of the relief vessels by Israel’s navy.

He was speaking to reporters after launching the inaugural charity fund to raise funds for the development of a new Kiblah Education Complex yesterday, which will comprise a secondary school, a tahfiz centre and a linguistics centre, under the patronage of Yayasan Kebajikan Nusantara (Yakin).

The new Kiblah Education Complex will be built in Jenderam Hilir, Sepang.

When asked whether humanitarian aid can be transported by air, he said that he did not think so, and added that “it might be by land”.

“If Egypt opens its border with Raffah, they want to examine everything and every item that we take and that may cause delays, and also they may consider certain things as dangerous,” he said.

Earlier in his speech, Dr Mahathir expressed his hope that the development of the new Kiblah Education Complex would stress the understanding and teaching of Quran.

At tonight’s charity dinner, the Yayasan Kebajikan Nusantara received donations amounting to RM3.5 million including 3 million Qatar Rials from Emir of Qatar, who was represented by the Mufti of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Syeikh Dr Sulaiman Al-Saloomi. — Bernama

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