Govt to expedite house rebuilding, restoration for flood victims

by S BIRRUNTHA / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE government has pledged to quickly rebuild and restore houses that were damaged in the severe floods brought by the torrential rains across the country last month.

Housing and Local Government (KPKT) Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican (picture; right) said the ministry has received a total of 8,257 applications which were eligible for the initiative called Rumah Kasih Keluarga Malaysia, consisting of 118 rebuildings and 81,139 restoration works.

“This is just in the early stages. The figures are dynamic and are expected to increase as there are still areas inundated by floods.

“We expect the restoration works to take up to two weeks and the rebuilding works will take between four and five months.

“Nevertheless, I want to reassure everyone that no one will be left behind,” he said in a joint press conference with Rural Development (KPLB) Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid (left) in Putrajaya yesterday.

Meanwhile, both ministers announced that the initiative follows the initial fund of RM100 million to repair houses and infrastructure damaged in the massive floods, announced by Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Dec 19.

According to Reezal Merican, KPLB and KPKT have each allocated RM50 million for the effort, in which RM5,000 to RM15,000 has been allocated for house restoration works and RM56,000 for rebuilding works.

He noted that the joint responsibility will be carried out in an integrated manner where KPKT will be responsible for the houses under the urban category in the area below the supervision of the local authority, while KLPB will take on houses under the rural category which is outside the administrative area of the local authority.

He also said this initiative will involve various other parties including the Works Ministry, Finance Ministry, Economic Planning Unit, PM’s Department Implementation Coordination Unit (JPM ICU), Federal Territories Ministry and the National Disaster Management Agency, as well as state governments and local authorities.

“The first phase of the initiative will involve data gathering on the district level followed by data syncing on the state level which will then be compiled by the ICU under the JPM.

“Subsequently, a data verification process will take place involving agencies under both ministries before the rebuilding and restoration works could actually take place,” he said.

Reezal Merican added that the initiative will be spearheaded by Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd for rebuilding and Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia for restoration works.

Under the initiative, the government will rebuild 660 sq ft single-storey houses that come with three bedrooms and two bathrooms for the flood victims, he added.

He also stressed his ministry’s commitment to addressing the concerns of the flood victims and expressed his appreciation to all parties involved in ensuring that this integrated effort can be implemented successfully.

“KPKT is highly committed to ensuring that the concerns of the people who lost their homes or whose homes were damaged by floods can be treated immediately so that they can restart their daily lives.

“This is in line with the ministry’s focus and agenda of Liveable Malaysia or Malaysia Berdaya Huni,” he said.