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Rosmah Seeks Assistance Of Eyptian President's Wife To Free Student | 06/01/2010
Untitled document KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 2010 (Bernama) -- Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, the wife of the Prime Minister, is seeking the assistance of Suzanne Mubarak, the wife of the Egyptian president, in freeing a Malaysian involved in the 'Viva Palestina' Convoy who was detained by the country's authority on Tuesday.

"I'm scheduled to speak with Madamme Suzanne by telephone at 6pm today," she told reporters after visiting a heart transplant patient, Tan Geek Koon, at the National Heart Institute (IJN), here.

She disclosed this when asked to comment on the incident where more than 10 members of the 'Viva Palestina' convoy were injured, four of them seriously, and seven were detained by the Egyptian police during a demonstration, here, at 11.40pm (local time) on Tuesday.

Those detained included a Malaysian national, Ibrahim Mohd Azmi, a medical student of the University of Bristol, United Kingdom, who took part in the convoy as a volunteer from London on Dec 6.

Rosmah said she would talk to Suzanne "from the point of view of a woman, concerning the love for children and the love of a mother", although she realised that the issue was closely related to international diplomacy.

Rosmah said she would try her best to find a solution to the problem.

She said she would not make any promises but hoped that her conversation with Suzanne could help "if there's any part of the problem that could be helped though negotiations".

Rosmah, the patron of the Wives of Ministers and Deputy Ministers and Welfare Organisation (Bakti), handed over a contribution of RM50,000 to the chairman of Yayasan IJN, Toh Puan Dr Aishah Ong, at the function.

The contribution is for research works involving stem cell transplant.

Meanwhile, Egyptian Ambassador to Malaysia Hani Abdel Kader Ahmed Shash told reporters that Rosmah had contacted him today to get information on the latest development on Tuesday's El-Arish Port incident.

"Datin Seri Rosmah also mentioned that she is going to make a phone call to the Egyptian president's wife, Suzanne Mubarak, to ask for her help to ensure the safety of Malaysians who participate in the convoy," he told reporters at the embassy here today after receiving a memorandum from the members of the Coalition of Malaysian Non-governmental Organisation (NGOs) Against Persecution of Palestinians (Complete) on the matter.

Rosmah, besides former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, had been singled out by a British politician for exemplary efforts to help push for the Viva Palestina humanitarian aid convoy to reach its destination in the Gaza Strip of Palestine recently.

Ahmed Shash said that Wisma Putra had also contacted the embassy, and "I have already forwarded the message to our Ministry of Foreign Affairs."

Meanwhile Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, in a statement issued here today, said the ministry had received information on the detention of the Malaysian student, who was reported to have joined the Viva Palestina International Humanitarian convoy in El-Arish, Egypt.

"The ministry has instructed its embassy in Cairo to verify the information, as well as, to locate the student and extend consular assistance if necessary," he said in a statement issued here today.

Meanwhile Ahmed Shash, when asked on the two-page memorandum handed to him by Complete which comprises more than 30 NGOs demanding the Egyptian government to immediately release the Viva Palestina convoy's members, and called for the government to ensure a safe, speedy and incident free passage of the convoy to Gaza, said he would forwad the memorandum to the Egyptian government.

"I promise that we are going to do our best to release all of the convoy team who were arrested by mistake. If there is some misunderstanding, we are going to write to the Egyptian government to solve this problem," he said.

Ahmed Shash also denied media reports that the convoy was not allowed to cross into the Gaza border by the Egyptian government, who refused to allow them to use the Port of Nuweiba for entry into Rafah before proceeding to Gaza.

"It is not true and only vehicles that are more than four tonnes are not allowed to enter (the port) based on safety," he said and added that "I assure you that the majority of the vehicles are now in Gaza, already in Gaza.

"Only a few cars that are very heavy like over a few tonnes but we hope that we can solve it very soon," he said.

The protest on Tuesday was reportedly staged by Viva Palestina convoy members to protest against the decision by the Eqyptian government to bar 59 convoy vehicles from leaving here for Gaza.

Egyptian police were said to act strongly against the convoy members three hours after the protest was staged at the entry and exit security point at the port.

Meanwhile, Complete executive committee secretary Azra Banu said the organisation hoped the safety of the convoy members, including Malaysians, would be taken care of by the Egyptian government and hoped the humanitarian aid like food, medicines and school equipment worth more than US$1 million to Palestinians in Gaza would reach them safely and for the convoy to return home safely.

The Viva Palestina Convoy is made up of 450 people from various countries with 220 vehicles in a mission to send humanitarian aid to the Palestinians in Gaza.

The mission began in London on Dec 9 last year and has moved through various places in Turkey, Syria, and Jordan and was supposed to arrive in Gaza on Dec 27 but was held up by the Egyptian government which refused to allow use of the port of Nuweiba for entry to Rafah before arriving in Gaza.

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