MRC reaffirms commitment to its mission

Lee (standing second left) visits a blood donation drive held to mark the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day.

MIRI: In connection with the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day (WRCRC) which was observed globally today, state Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin expressed his gratitude to and appreciation for the organisations’ dedicated volunteers.

“We pay tribute to the millions of volunteers, members and staff who work every day to prevent and alleviate human suffering all over the world,” he said.

Lee, who was met by New Sarawak Tribune today after he visited the Malaysian Red Crescent headquarters of Miri district (MRC), said the Red Crescent volunteers had worked hard on the front line of every crisis, often faced with difficult circumstances and risking their own safety.

“Here in Miri, MRC continues to play its part. Since the movement control order (MCO) was first declared on March 18, 2020, our members had opened a shelter for the homeless for the duration of first lockdown,” he explained.

They also opened a blood donation site at the MRC Training Institute.

To date the MRC Blood Donor Committee with the Miri Hospital Blood Bank have organised 109 blood donation drives with cooperation from various non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

“Our volunteers are also currently supporting the vaccination centres in Miri City, especially pertaining to the administrative functions,” he reckoned.

“Today we are working together with Miri Hospital in holding a two-day blood donation to mark WRCRC Day,” Lee said.

The chairman for the WRCRC Day celebrations is Aaron Ismanto Anggang, while the organising chairman for the two-day blood donation event is Karambir Singh.

“All the MRC volunteers and staff deserve our deep gratitude,” the Senadin assemblyman said.

“The Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact the world and reinforces the importance of our entire movement in aiding vulnerable people.

“The world will always face new crises and challenges.

“Throughout our more than 150 years of history we have responded to the challenges of every era and continue to do so today.

“On this World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, we celebrate our long journey and reaffirm our commitment to our humanitarian mission.

“Malaysian Red Crescent of Miri district fully practises the theme for this year, “Together we are #unstoppable,” Lee concluded.

This date (May 8) is the anniversary of Henry Dunant’s birth in 1828. He was the founding father of the Red Cross Movement.

He documented the terrible suffering at the Battle of Solferino, in Italy in 1859.

His book entitled A Memory of Solferino, gave rise to his humanitarian vision and led to the formation of voluntary relief societies for the purpose of having care given to the wounded in wartime without any distinction.

This eventually evolved into today’s Red Cross and Red Crescent movement.

It is now over a century and a half since Henry Dunant’s initiative to establish voluntary relief societies in each country

However, we continue to see suffering.

The past year has shown the vulnerability of the whole world to the Covid-19 pandemic.