Cambodia

MERCY Malaysia launch Cambodia Relief Fund with the help of some friends

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PETALING JAYA, September 10, 2002 (Tuesday): The Malaysian Medical Relief Society (MERCY Malaysia) today launched the Cambodia Relief Fund with the first pledge of support from the organisers of the World Peace Concert 2002 and WOWfm.
MERCY Malaysia president Dato' Dr. Jemilah Mahmood said Cambodia is one of the most disaster prone countries in Asia. Every year the monsoon rainfall from August to November causes floods to about 25% of the country, damaging more than 180,000 hectares of rice fields, schools, bridges and roads which brought considerable hardship to more than 1.5 million people.

"Hundreds of thousands of flood victims are made homeless and need urgent help in terms of shelter, food, clothes and medical aid which the local government finds difficulty in providing.

"The Cambodia National Committee for Disaster Management, under the auspices of Prime Minister Hun Sen, has called for international aid in his statement of disaster declaration last month," she said.

She also said that MERCY Malaysia's efforts in Cambodia had received recognition and accreditation from the Cambodian Prime Minister and the disaster relief Committee's Vice President, Gen. Nhim Vanda.

Dr. Jemilah said, "We appeal to our generous public to contribute to the Fund so that we can send medical and humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the flood victims. The funds will also help our medical centre in Kampong Cham to provide free medical treatment, mobile medical services and run community health projects for the huge community of poor Cambodians.

"At the moment, MASCargo is sponsoring the cargo uplift for us to send our relief items. We have also received medical equipments from Johnson & Johnson (M), MX Services Sdn Bhd and Intermedic Scientific Sdn Bhd," she added.

The event also saw the launching of the World Peace Concert 2002 (WPC), which will be held at the Indoor Stadium in Johor Bahru on Saturday, October 12, 2002.

Chairperson of WPC organising committee Dr. Jojo Fung said in addition to promoting peace and unity among Malaysians, the main objective of the concert was to raise funds to facilitate MERCY Malaysia's medical and humanitarian relief efforts in Cambodia.

The charity concert will showcase artistes such as RABBIT (Ivan Chan), Amir Yusof, Lo and Francesca Peters. It will also feature Marion D' Cruz, Anne James and Marge Martinez from Five Arts Centre.

Dr. Jemilah said the significance of the event shows that Malaysians from various cultures, ethnic and religious backgrounds are willing to work together for the common good of humankind -- to assist people in need and to promote peace.

She also announced at the function that a 10-member team comprising two (2) doctors (Dr. Lai Fui Boon, a paediatric surgeon and Dr. Lee Lean See, a paediatrician), four paramedics and four humanitarian volunteers will be departing to Cambodia in stages on September 18 and 22, to provide critical medical and humanitarian aid to the Cambodian flood victims.

Leading the team will be Miss Yang Wai Wai, MERCY's Director of Operations for Cambodia.

Dr. Jemilah said, "Our mission this time will be very special because for the first time we are sending Dr Lai Fui Boon to the Angkor Hospital to perform paediatric surgery.

"Dr. Lai was also the first paediatric surgeon to assist bomb blast victims in Kandahar during MERCY Malaysia's first mission to Afghanistan in October 2001."

Dr. Jemilah explained that Cambodia lacks specialist surgeons and experienced nursing and paramedic staff and that the surgeon, nurses and paramedics from MERCY Malaysia would be of great help to the situation there.

According to Dr. Jemilah, MERCY's missions to Cambodia began two years ago and the Society has committed to continue its work there on a long term basis as the majority of the Cambodians are so poor that they cannot afford proper medical treatment and other daily necessities.

She said, "To date we have sent 10 missions to Cambodia comprising more than 80 doctors, undergraduate medical students and volunteers."

Dr. Jemilah also said that early this year MERCY Malaysia sent 20 doctors and medical students from Universiti Sains Malaysia Medical Faculty of Kubang Krian, Kelantan on two separate occasions. This proved successful not only in terms of helping the local community but also gave valuable hands-on experience for their professional and personal development.

According to Dr. Jemilah, medical students from the International Medical University in Bukit Jalil and the University Malaya Medical College had also expressed their keenness to join the Cambodia missions during their semester break end of the year.

Dr. Jemilah said in the past two years, MERCY Malaysia has touched the lives of at least 100,000 Cambodians, providing medical treatment and humanitarian aid which included clothes, food, medicine and other kinds of assistance.

In April this year the Society sponsored four Cambodian children to undergo heart surgery at the Penang Adventist Hospital.

Members of the public can contribute to the Cambodia Relief Fund directly to MERCY Malaysia (Maybank A/c no: 5640-1610-4446) or World Peace Concert 2002 (Maybank A/c no: 5640-1610-6789). For more information, kindly call Tel: 03-4256 9999, Fax: 03-4251 8435, Email: mercymsa@tm.net.my or log on to Website: www.mercy.org.my.

Free complementary passes for the World Peace Concert 2002 can be obtained from MERCY Malaysia and WOWfm.

For more information on World Peace Concert 2002 and sales of T-shirts, please call Tel: 07-521 7286/7221, Fax: 07-521 7379, Email: wpc2002@lycos.com or log on to www.wpc2002.cjb.net.