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Flood Victims Must Register Their Evacuation, Says Shahidan

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KUCHING – Flood evacuees have been advised to register themselves to ensure there is a written record to facilitate distribution of aid and avert any problem, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.

“Insyallah (God willing), we will distribute aid later. I want to ask all those who have moved to relief centres to register themselves. We cannot depend on oral communication. There must be a record in the register,” he said.

Shahidan, who is the minister in charge of disaster management, spoke to reporters after a visit to the flood relief centre at Sekolah Kebangsaan Matu Baru here that houses 499 evacuees from 125 families.

Department of Civil Defence director-general Datuk Ogu Salim Omar; Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency director-general Admiral (Maritime) Datuk Ahmad Puzi Ab Kahar and National Security Council deputy secretary Datuk Zahari Alias were also present at the press conference.

More than 5,000 people have been evacuated in the districts of Kuching, Bau and Serian over the past few days due to floods caused by rain and high tide.

Shahidan expressed satisfaction with the flood relief efforts in Sarawak, saying the relevant authorities had responded swiftly in the face of disaster.

He said the relief workers would also ensure that evacuees were well cared for at the flood relief centres. Up to 27 of these centres have been opened in the three districts to house the flood victims.

Shahidan, who flew into Kuching at 12.25am today, said he would be in Sarawak for several days to help coordinate evacuation of people and distribution of flood relief assistance pending the giving of compassionate cash aid.

“Certain criteria must be met for evacuees to be eligible for the compassionate cash aid, for example the number of nights spent at relief centres and so on, which we will announce in due course,” he said.

Shahidan said he would personally ensure that the evacuation of flood victims proceeded smoothly and they were cared for well at the relief centres. – BERNAMA

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