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National Preparedness Crucial – Ahmad Shabery

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KEMAMAN – Unpredictable circumstances during natural disasters like floods have made it crucial for the country to prioritise preparedness in handling them.

Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said this after a ‘gotong-royong’ to clean up Sekolah Kebangsaan Pasir Gajah, which would start its new session on Jan 11.

The school was submerged in three metres of water when Sungai Kemaman burst its banks and flooded the nearby village.

“When this flood is over, I feel that we should reflect and recapitulate on how crucial it is to have a national preparedness in handling whatever disasters and ensuing trouble that we may not even know until it happens.

“So this national preparedness must have a new level indicator, restructured from the aspect of communication and paraphernalia as well as assets. Are we prepared or not?” he told Bernama here today.

Ahmad Shabery who is also Kemaman Member of Parliament said national preparedness was not yet ingrained in Malaysians to take root in the country’s system.

In this regard, he hoped the government would consider introducing a flood insurance policy for the people’s welfare in the event of future onslaughts.

He said the government could hold discussions with insurance companies on the process.

The insurance scheme could rely on contributions from the 1Malays ia People’s Assistance (BR1M) or other forms of aid as what was undertaken by Insurans Takaful Berkelompok Rakyat 1Malaysia (i-BR1M) last year, he said.

“Doesn’t matter, the contribution could be RM50 or RM100. Let the experts look at it and if the amount is not a burden, then it should be worth the benefit to the people,” he added. – BERNAMA

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