Singapore greatly appreciates Malaysia’s help during Sabah quake, says Vivian Balakrishnan

(From left) Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Soutim Sunbin, mother of late mountain guide Valerian Joannes, and Sahiah Boliking, mother of late mountain guide Ricky Masirin, during a Sabah Earthquake thank you reception in Kota Kinabalu April 2, 2016. — TODAY pic
(From left) Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Soutim Sunbin, mother of late mountain guide Valerian Joannes, and Sahiah Boliking, mother of late mountain guide Ricky Masirin, during a Sabah Earthquake thank you reception in Kota Kinabalu April 2, 2016. — TODAY pic

Follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates.


KOTA KINABALU, April 3 — The help from the Malaysian authorities and Sabahans during the tragic loss Singapore suffered in the earthquake at Mount Kinabalu last June offered consolation, said Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan yesterday at an appreciation reception.

Eighteen people died in the earthquake on June 5 last year, of which 10 were Singaporeans — including two teachers and seven students from Tanjong Katong Primary School (TKPS) as well as an adventure guide.

In his speech at the dinner he hosted in Sabah on Saturday, Dr Balakrishnan said: “As news gradually broke of the death toll, we grieved as families, as people, as nations.

“And also, in this time of great tragedy, I want to say that Singapore also appreciated that we have a true friend in Malaysia and especially the people of Sabah,” he added.

Dr Balakrishnan, who is in Sabah for a three-day trip, also said that S$100,000 (RM288,130) of the Sabah Earthquake fund has been distributed among the Mountain Torq trainers and Sabah mountain guides. Mountain Torq, the operator of the Via Ferrata on Mount Kinabalu, got S$50,000.

The other recipients include the five trainers — including the late Valerian Joannes and Ricky Masirin, through their families — who accompanied the TKPS students on the ill-fated expedition.

Speaking to reporters at the sidelines of the reception, Dr Vivian said the help rendered by Malaysia reflects the “people-to-people” ties between the two nations. “This is something that transcends politics, transcends diplomacy and I think this is something precious that we have to keep working on, we have to treasure it and we have to nurture it,” he added.

During the reception, a minute of silence was observed for those who lost their lives in the disaster. Dr Balakrishnan also interacted with the mothers of the late Valerian and Ricky, as well as mountain guides who helped in search and rescue operations in that incident.

Asked about what he discussed with the relatives of the Malaysians who died during the earthquake, the minister said: “I don’t think you’ll fully move on from a tragedy, the mothers are still deeply affected. We have to understand that, we have to support that, we have to make ourselves available for them. We must never underestimate the grief... in type of tragedy brings about.”

Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and Sabahan dignitaries also attended the the reception. — TODAY

You May Also Like

Related Articles