"For the sake of humanitarian aid for Rohingya community, Riau Regional Office of Religious Affairs has extended the time to collect humanitarian aid until the end of Sept 2017," Head of Information Division of Islam, Alms and Charity of Riau Regional Office of Religious Affairs HM Saman stated here on Monday.
According to Saman, the fund was raised according to the circular letter of Head of Riau Regional Office of Religious Affairs, so that the remaining seven days must be utilized by the region to immediately raise and submit the fund to the office.
He noted that up to five days before the fundraising deadline, the office had collected funds amounting to around Rp174 million, which came from several districts, cities, and Madrasah (Islamic schools) in Riau.
"We urge districts and cities or Madrasah who have not submitted their assistance to immediately deliver it to Riau Regional Office of Religious Affairs," he stated.
He noted that his party estimated that all the fund will be submitted by Oct 2017 to Ministry of Religious Affairs in order to be forwarded to Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to Head of Riau Regional Office of Religious Affairs, Ahmad Supardi Hasibuan, the distribution of assistance could be done through the Ministry of Religious Affairs or the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI).
"Do not look at the nominal amount of the assistance but look at the concerns and intention of Riaus community," he added.
On that occasion, Hasibuan expressed his deep concern over the intimidation and violence against Rohingya Muslims.
"We sincerely hope that this assistance will reach Myanmar, so that it will be not in vain, and expect the Indonesian government and society to unite and move together to take concrete steps to stop the violence," he remarked.
Earlier, President Joko Widodo on Wednesday had released the first delivery of humanitarian assistance for Rohingya refugees on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.
The four Hercules planes have delivered the humanitarian aid, including rice, fast food aid, family kits, tents, water tanks, childrens clothing, and blankets, to Myanmar.
Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi revealed that the 34 tons aid included 20 tons of rice, sugar, and other foodstuffs.
Another batch of food aid for Rohingya refugees from the Indonesian government arrived in Bangladesh on Saturday.
According to Antaras report, the aircraft, an Indonesian Air Force (TNI AU) C130 Hercules aircraft, landed at 10:00 a.m. local time at Hazrat Shah Amanat Airport, Chittagong, on Saturday afternoon.
The aircraft delivered 10.5 tons of rice for the Rohingyas.
The total aid brought on Saturday is 20 tons, with 10.5 tons of rice and 9.5 tons of logistics, and emergency items, which include instant food, emergency lights, blankets, and generators.(*)