JERANTUT – About 82,000 households affected by the floods in several states would each receive RM500 in special aid, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced today.
At the same time, he said, the government would also give a compassionate payment of RM5,000 to the next of kin of victims who lost their lives in the floods.
Muhyiddin said the aid decided upon at the Cabinet meeting yesterday, was expected to be given as early by next week to the registered flood victims.
“Those who did not evacuate but confirmed to be flood victims will also receive the special aid. However, their status must be verified by the respective distict offices and social welfare departments.”
Muhyiddin said this after chairing the Post-Flood Action Plan Coordination meeting for Pahang at the Jerantut District Office, here, today.
The meeting was also attended by Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Malaysian Armed Forces chief General Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin and Pahang state executive councillors.
Muhyiddin said the registration of flood victims, therefore, needed to be completed within a week so as to channel the aid fast except for areas still affected by floods like Pekan.
He also urged flood victims to report immediately on the status of their houses that were damaged in the floods to facilitate their resettlement by the government if necessary.
“If the state of their houses is such that they can still be occupied, there’s no problem (about resettlement).
“But if their houses had been swept away by flood waters, we will provide them with temporary housing here (in Pahang), like we’ve done in Kelantan,” he said.
He said in this matter, the state government needed to provide suitable sites so that the federal government could provide temporary housing for them in the form to be decided later.
“Whether in cabin form or others, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and I will decide on the concept that can be developed fast while the cost should not be too high.”
He said for Kelantan, government premises not being utilised there like the National Service Training Centres or teacher’ quarters could be used to resettle the flood victims temporarily.
“If they choose to stay with their relatives, we can consider giving them some financial assistance.
“We will leave it to the state-level committee to forward the proposals fast and Insyaallah (God willing), we will implement them,” he said.
He also said that repair works such as on damaged roads caused by the floods and replacing public infrastructure in the aftermath would be done immediately.
In this matter, he said, the relevant agencies like the Public Works Department should use the allocations at the departmental and ministerial levels to carry out the repair and restoration works.
As for the departments and ministries with no such allocations, he said they could submit their proposals to the National Security Council to be forwarded to the Finance Ministry for consideration.
Meanwhile, he said, the federal government was prepared to consider a number of proposals made by the states in facing extraordinary floods like the recent one.
Muhyiddin said these included reviewing the standard operating procedure (SOP) in managing floods, enhancing the skills of all parties involved in managing flood situations, and the suggested setting up of a special department related to disasters.
“The United States and South Korean governments have such a department. However, we have no decision on this yet for Malaysia and we will study this matter first as it will have a big implication and will involve a high cost and many officers,” he added. – BERNAMA