REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- The Malaysian government has decided to increase its assistance by 500 thousand ringgit (M$500 thousand) to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Palu in Central Sulawesi, bringing the total amount of its assistance to M$1 million. It was reported by the New Straits Times on Thursday that Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has decided to increase the Malaysian assistance after a cabinet meeting chaired by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad on Wednesday.
Previously, Wan Azizah announced that Malaysia would contribute M$500 thousand from the National Disaster Fund to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Palu and Donggala on Friday (Sept 28).
"The Minister of Finance has agreed to add a donation of M$500 thousand to the victims," she added.
Although the funds were used to overcome the impact of the earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, the cabinet agreed that some of the funds could be allocated to help victims in Central Sulawesi, Wan Azizah noted.
"If an NGO needs logistical assistance, we will enable it to use the existing budget allocation," she remarked when launching the Sulawesi Tsunami Victim Assistance at The Grand Hall, Lukut.
Wan Azizah, who is also the Minister of Women's Families and Community Development, revealed that Malaysia was increasing the aid because of the friendly relations between the two countries.
"I understand that the death toll has reached 1,407 people and that number will continue to increase. According to UN reports, almost 200 thousand people were affected, with tens of thousands of victims being children," she explained.
Earlier, the first international aid, transported by C-130 Hercules aircraft, has arrived in Palu, Central Sulawesi on Wednesday. The plane, which carried aid from Singapore, landed at Mutiara Sis Al Jufri Airport in Palu at around 14:30 local time.
"I think some of international aid has been sent, but this is the first international aid that arrived directly in Palu," a source from the Indonesian Air Force stated here on Wednesday.
The aid from Singapore consisted of tents, blankets, emergency lamps, foods, and medical devices. Tents, blankets, and emergency lamps were unloaded from the plane, while foods and medical equipment remained on the plane.