$371,000 raised for Aussie, NZ victims

National 1 minute, 37 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

OVER $370,000 has been raised for the Australian flood and New Zealand earthquake humanitarian fund.

During the official handover ceremony, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Paduka Hj Hazair Hj Abdullah received a total of $371,253.83 from 13 donors from the private and government sectors, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the public.

The Ministry of Education was the highest donor from the government sector, contributing $11,982.91. Acting Senior Special Duties Officer Pg Othman Pg Mohamed Daud handed over the donations to the minister yesterday.

Meanwhile, DST Group Sdn Bhd, through its SMS Brunei Prihatin service, was the highest private sector donor with $22,780. The company's board of director member Abdul Latiff Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yusuf presented the contributions to the minister.

Thousands of homes in Australia's northeast and northwest were inundated after a record rainfall in December and January.

New Zealand was hit with a 5.7 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch in February. The city experienced a series of aftershocks earlier this month.

In brief remarks, the minister thanked everyone who contributed to the fund and appreciated the concern of various agencies in helping victims of the natural disasters.

He also said that he hoped that their contributions would garner blessings from Allah SWT.

"This contribution would educate the younger generation to not only care about their own citizens but also those who are outside of the country that need help," he said.

Also present at the ceremony were representatives from the Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, Royal Brunei Armed Forces, Ministry of Religious Affairs' Mosque Affairs Department, all four district offices, B-Mobile Sdn Bhd, Brunei Banks Association and the KatakIjau Humanitarian Relief Support Group.

The collection of funds began four months ago on March 17 and ended on June 18, 2011.

The closing was held at the third floor of the MCYS headquarters at Jln Kebangsaan.

The Brunei Times