KP1M president Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim said the Myanmar government has yet to give the green light for the humanitarian aid mission.
“The ship with the aid is still parked at our naval base in Lumut, Perak,” he told The Malay Mail “Our staff is on standby, ready to go. Once we get the clearance, we will move out.”
The team, comprising 38 people, was due to have left for Sittwe Port in Myanmar on Wednesday and return on Sept 16 after transporting aid to the refugees living in camps at Kutupalong and Nayapara near Cox’s Bazar, a fishing port in Bangladesh.
Abdul Azeez said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman was trying his best to seek the necessary approvals from the Myanmar government.
He said Bangladeshi officials had informed their Malaysian counterpart that they too would only give clearance once the Myanmar government had given theirs.
Abdul Azeez said the Malaysian mission would distribute 500 tonnes of goods ranging from food products to amenities like medicine and wheelchairs.
“The goods can last up to two months in the ship,” he said.
He said the club has an alternative plan should clearance not be issued but declined to reveal details.
Abdul Azeez said the Malaysian government is confident that approval for the mission would be forthcoming as it is purely for humanitarian purposes.
Human Rights Watch had reported on Aug 22 that the Bangladesh government had, since late July, ordered three prominent international aid organisations — Doctors Without Borders, Action Against Hunger and Muslim Aid — to cease providing assistance to Rohingya refugees currently living at Cox’s Bazar and surrounding areas, after having fled from “killings, looting and other sectarian violence in the Arakan state, as well as abuses by the Myanmar authorities, including ethnically motivated attacks and mass arrests.”
The Bangladesh government contended the presence of aid missions in the country encourages members of the ethnic group to flee Myanmar and Bangladesh could not afford to host them.
Human Rights Watch reported there are an estimated 30,000 Rohingya-registered refugees living in two camps, another 40,000 unregistered refugees in makeshift refugee camps and the remaining 130,000 living in surrounding areas.
The violence in the Rakhine region erupted in early June between ethnic Buddhists and both Rohingya and non-Rohingya Muslims.
The Rohingya are stateless, as they are denied citizenship in both Myanmar and Bangladesh.
The NGO also reported all settlements are “squalid and overcrowded” and food shortages are leading to malnourishment among children.