GAZIANTEP (Turkiye), Feb 15 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today expressed his pride in the efficiency and high level of professionalism displayed by the Malaysian search and rescue (SAR) team in helping the earthquake victims in Nurdagi here.

He said the Malaysian SAR team comprising members of the Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART), Fire and Rescue Department, Civil Defence Force, and Malaysian Armed Forces Royal Medical Corps stationed in Nurdagi has shown extraordinary capability with efforts that the nation can be proud of.

“I’m so proud of our team who have shown the extraordinary capability, making extraordinary sacrifices.

“The (Nurdagi) governor and governor representatives here also said that our team has shown an extraordinary level of dedication. On behalf of all Malaysians, I would like to convey our appreciation and we pray to Allah SWT to ease the burden of the people here, and that we (Malaysia) will do our level best to help.”

Anwar said this to reporters after visiting the Malaysian SAR team camp at Nurdagi Stadium here on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Anwar said Malaysia had successfully raised RM30 million in relief funds for Turkiye and that he would meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to present the aid and convey Malaysia’s condolences and sympathies to the victims.

Earlier, Anwar spent about 40 minutes visiting the camp.

He arrived here at 9 am local time (2 pm Malaysian time), accompanied by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Sabah, Sarawak Affairs and Special Functions) Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali, and was welcomed by Malaysian SAR Contingent Deputy Commander DSP Safrizan Suhaini and MAS-10 Team Leader Abdul Manaf Che Isa.

The Prime Minister was also given a briefing on the team’s operations by Safizan before being led to meet Frankie and Denti, the two tacker dogs flown all the way from Malaysia.

Anwar also brought cheer to the camp when he sportingly agreed to join the team on the field and pose for group pictures with the rescuers.

Anwar decided to make the surprise visit to Turkiye on the basis of friendship and at the request of Erdogan, who he said had contacted him twice over the matter.

Anwar is scheduled to meet Erdogan in Ankara.

On Feb 11, Anwar contacted Erdogan immediately after arriving from an official visit in Bangkok, Thailand, to convey his condolences and prayers over the disaster.

The Prime Minister had shown his commitment and solidarity to the people of Turkiye by sending two SMART teams including the two tracker dogs, as well as setting up a level three Malaysian Field Hospital run by the Malaysian Armed Forces.

In addition to manpower assistance for the SAR missions, Malaysia has also channelled humanitarian aid to Turkiye and Syria amounting to RM20 million.

On Feb 6, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 on the Ritcher scale hit southern Turkiye and Syria.

As of Feb 13, the death toll in Turkiye was reported to have reached 31,644, with another 106,428 people injured, while in Syria, 5,329 have died and 14,500 injured.

So far, the Malaysian SAR team had successfully brought out 47 bodies from under the rubble and rescued a family of five who survived.


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