SINGAPORE: Singapore's Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on Tuesday (Dec 21) sent condolences to his counterparts in Malaysia and the Philippines over the recent natural disasters in both countries.
More than 20 people have died in Malaysia, while about 70,000 people have been forced from their homes, after days of torrential rain triggered some of the worst flooding in years across the country at the weekend.
Dr Balakrishnan said in his letter to Malaysian Minister of Foreign Affairs Saifuddin Abdullah that "Singapore stands in solidarity with Malaysia during this difficult time”.
"I am saddened by the tragic loss of lives and devastation caused by the floods in several parts of Malaysia," he said.
"I extend my deepest condolences to the families of the victims and all Malaysians whose livelihoods have been affected.
"The Malaysian government is swiftly mounting relief efforts, and I am confident that the Malaysian people will overcome this crisis with strength and fortitude," he added.
He also sent a letter expressing condolences to the Philippines’ Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin Jr.
At least 375 people were killed and hundreds injured after Typhoon Rai devastated several areas in the country’s central and southern regions. More than 400,000 people have also fled their homes, as the storm destroyed infrastructure and knocked out communication and electricity in many areas.
“It is distressing that so many families have lost their homes, livelihoods and loved ones, especially with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr Balakrishnan wrote.
“Singapore stands ready to provide any assistance required by the Philippines during this difficult time.
"Our thoughts are with the people of the Philippines during this difficult time, and I wish the Philippines strength and fortitude to overcome this natural disaster," he added.
The Singapore Red Cross has pledged a combined US$100,000 (S$136,772) in humanitarian aid to the two countries following the natural disasters.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked Singaporeans in the affected areas to monitor local news closely and heed the instructions of the local authorities.
They are also advised to keep in touch with family and friends, as well as to eRegister with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Singaporeans in need of consular assistance may contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office, or the relevant overseas missions:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office (24-hours)
Tel: +65 6379 8800 / 8855
Email: mfa_duty_officer [at] mfa.gov.sg
High Commission of the Republic of Singapore in Kuala Lumpur
Emergency Tel (after hours): +60-16-661-0400
Email: singhc_kul [at] mfa.sg
Embassy of the Republic of Singapore in Manila
Emergency Tel (after hours): +63-917-860-4740
Email: singemb_mnl [at] mfa.sg