KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Thursday tabled a motion at the Dewan Rakyat to express his deepest condolence and sympathy to the Japanese government and family members of the victims of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11.
Before beginning his speech, Najib asked the Dewan Rakyat sitting to observe a minute’s silence for the victims of the massive disasters which had killed thousands of people.
The Prime Minister said what had happened to Japan and its people had saddened the whole Malaysian population as well as the international community worldwide, especially in the Asian countries.
Malaysia, as one of the nations that had close ties with Japan, also felt the burden borne by them, he said.
It was only proper that Malaysia offered whatever assistance within its means as Japan and Malaysia had very close relations.
On March 11, Japan was shaken by a strong earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter Scale as well as a tsunami, followed by several tremors subsequently that killed thousands of people and destroyed properties and infrastructures in the affected areas.
The explosion at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant and the leakage of radioactive materials a day later had aggravated the situation, followed by the explosion at its second nuclear reactor plant on March 15.
The Prime Minister, in his speech, proposed that the Dewan Rakyat sitting recorded its appreciation to the government and people of Japan for all the help they had rendered to the people of Malaysia, especially Malaysian students, who were affected by the tragedy.
According to the records of the Malaysian Embassy in Tokyo, there are 5,009 Malaysian nationals registered with the embassy and of that number, 2,466 are students.
There were 298 Malaysian students in the area badly affected by the quake and tsunami, however, they were found to be in safe condition.
“The Malaysian Embassy in Tokyo had taken preliminary measures such as dispatching two teams to monitor and observe the condition of the Malaysian nationals and students who had been evacuated to relief centres and the observation found that all Malaysian nationals and students are fine and receiving adequate supply of food and drinks.
“This clearly shows that the Japanese authorities are deeply concerned about the safety and condition of not only the Japanese people but also foreigners including Malaysians,” he said.
Najib called on all Malaysians to give their support and assistance in terms of materials and moral to the victims of the disasters.
Malaysia also called on the international community to offer humanitarian aid directly to the people of Japan, he said.
The motion was seconded by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who described the motion as clearly reflecting the stand of the country which had close ties with Japan.
Muhyiddin, in his speech, called on Malaysians to remain calm and not to believe the short messaging service (SMS) which purportedly said that Malaysia was also exposed to the danger of radiation as a result of the explosion at a nuclear reactor plant in Japan.
“I am certain that the Japanese government is doing its best to tackle the explosion to reduce the impact on the public,” he said.
He advised Malaysians not to believe the rumours on the incidents occurring in Japan because correct and latest information could be obtained from official sources from the Malaysian and Japanese governments.
Muhyiddin, who is also the Education Minister, called on Malaysians to pray for the wellbeing and safety of Malaysian nationals and students in Japan, especially those residing in areas badly affected by the disasters such as Miyagi, Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Iwate, Saitama and Chiba.
Nine Members of Parliament, comprising three backbenchers, three opposition members and three independents have been allocated up to 1pm today to debate the motion before the Prime Minister winds it up at 2.30pm Thursday.
Source : Bernama