Ismail Sabri, govt agencies looking after flood victims’ welfare

The PM says 5 national agencies will provide daily briefings on the flood situation


PRIME Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has remained resolute in his efforts to ensure that flood victims receive aid and assistance as the country enters its sixth day after the floods tragedy.

Following a series of visits to flood-affected areas, he has pledged that all flood victims will be given priority in getting government assistance, and that all state and federal governments will work together to provide the necessary resources.

InsyaAllah, I will make sure that all of them get the best post-flood care and assistance, especially the sick and small children who have lost their shelter.”

As soon as the flooding tragedy unfolded, the PM wasted no time to see for himself the situation on the ground.

On Sunday, he visited SK Telok Gong and SK Johan Setia in Klang, where people who had been evacuated were housed. After receiving a briefing on the situation in both sites, Ismail spoke with flood victims, including people whose homes and livelihoods had been damaged by flood waters.

Later, he visited Kampung Tembun, Simpang Durian, and other surrounding districts to conduct a more thorough assessment of the situation and meet with flood victims.

“I was struck by their energy and determination,” he remarked. “My team and I will do all in our power to ensure that everything is settled as swiftly as possible.”

In addition, he has directed the Department of Social Welfare to ensure every victim receives the help that they are entitled to.

Ismail Sabri also congratulated the staff in charge of the temporary evacuation centres (TECs) throughout the flood disaster, and he thanked the residents of Klang and Johan Setia for their patience and understanding.

The PM also paid a visit to the landslide site in Jelebu, Negri Sembilan, to assess the extent of the devastation. He said the clean-up efforts are being vigorously carried out by Public Works Department (JKR) and he will see to it that the welfare of the victims given priority.

“I have asked JKR to complete the work as quickly as feasible, so that users’ access to the Jelebu-Seremban corridor can be restored. The authorities will also make certain that the main route is safe to travel on when the cleanup procedure is completed.”

Yesterday, Ismail Sabri announced that five national agencies — the police, Armed Forces, Fire and Rescue Department, as well as the National Disaster Management Agency — will provide daily briefings on the flood situation.

“I trust these reports will provide the nation a clear picture of the latest situation of this calamity,” he tweeted.

In spite of these efforts, Ismail Sabri had on Tuesday conceded that there are flaws in flood control, particularly in Selangor, and that the situation will be addressed on an ongoing basis.

He said it was not the sole responsibility of the federal and state governments, but also the relevant parties in each district to play a significant role in flood control.

Ismail Sabri assures the public that the flood management system will be enhanced and streamlined, particularly in Selangor, which has been affected the worst by the floods due to the state’s inability to cope with such a tragedy in the first place.

“I don’t deny (the weakness) and will improve in the future…The federal government bears responsibility for the floods, but so do the state governments and the first responders, which are the counties in the affected areas.

“If there is a perceived weakness in coordination, I am not defending anyone in this situation; instead, I believe that everyone should be held accountable.”

He went on to say that transparency and accountability must be maintained in all aspects of disaster management, including the preparation for disasters.

To assist flood victims, Ismail Sabri has stated that Bank Simpanan Nasional Bhd (BSN) will grant interest-free personal loans of up to RM5,000 to those who meet the requirements. BSN has allotted RM100 million for this purpose, to assist flood victims in purchasing replacements for household equipment and furniture that were destroyed by the floods.

The PM also stated that there will be a six-month moratorium on repayment and that this programme is open to flood victims from all parts of the country. It applies to mortgages, personal loans, auto loans and credit cards, among other things.

The government has set aside a RM30 million fund to support micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in rebuilding and recovery activities through Tekun Nasional (National Recovery and Development Agency). For loans of up to RM10,000, there is no interest charged and a 12-month moratorium on repayment is granted to the borrower.

According to Ismail Sabri, the flood disaster management plan will be evaluated and modified on a regular basis with the goal of ensuring that adequate flood management mechanisms are in place to prevent repeat disasters from occurring.

Bank Negara Malaysia is also working on boosting the allocation for the Disaster Relief Facility 2022 from RM200 million to RM500 million based on current needs.

The PM wrote on Twitter: “The flood victims in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Melaka, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor were forced to face financial losses as a result of property destruction.

“Taking into consideration the difficulties faced by the “Keluarga Malaysia,” several government agencies and the banking sector will implement a number of initiatives to ease the burden on people and businesses, particularly MSMEs that have been affected by the floods.”