February 24, 2017
Malaysian PM Najib Razak congratulated volunteers of the Malaysian food flotilla humanitarian mission for their sacrifices in ensuring success of the mission.
The prime minister also expressed gratitude for the safe return of the Nautical Aliya vessel, which docked at the Boustead Cruise Centre in Port Klang at 10am on Thursday.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and family members of the 183 volunteers aboard were on hand to welcome the volunteers from the early hours of morning.
“Alhamdulillah, the Nautical Aliya vessel carrying thousands of tonnes of food and other essential goods for the Rohingya community in Myanmar and Bangladesh has safely returned to Malaysia after completing its ‘Food Flotilla for Myanmar’ mission.
“May Allah reward all of those who have contributed to this noble mission, Insya-Allah,” Najib said on social media.
The Malaysian aid ship delivered food aid in Yangon in Myanmar, and Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, home to hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees. The initiative is seen as a strong diplomatic and humanitarian statement, and has been warmly welcomed by the Rohingyas.
Myanmar nationalists have however protested against the Malaysian initiative saying Muslims were not indigenous to the country. Myanmar also refused to allow the ship to dock at Akyab and asked Malaysia to use the Yangon port instead, despite the clear logistical advantage of using the former. This has led to speculations much of the aid will be diverted away from the Rohingyas.