Cash aid helps Selangor flood victims restart lives

Those unable to attend Tuesday’s session will be reimbursed and the money will be sent directly to them 

by FAYYADH JAAFAR / Pics by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

A TOTAL of 1,007 households affected by the floods at Kampung Bukit Changgang in Banting, Kuala Langat, on Tuesday received RM1,000 each under Bantuan Wang Ihsan (BWI), on top of an additional RM2,500 under the Purchase of Essential Goods Assistance (BPBK). 

This was the second phase of the BWI handout to one of the most severely impacted areas in Selangor, involving victims who had not relocated to temporary evacuation centres (PPS). 

We will do everything in our power to guarantee that the money is delivered
to them as quickly as possible, hopefully within a week or two, says Rosli

According to Selangor State Development Department director Datuk Rosli Isa, the first phase reached a distribution rate of 97% throughout the flood-affected zone and he expected the number of assistance applications to increase. 

“The number of victims outside of PPS is currently 64,671. Those who are unable to attend today’s session will be reimbursed and the money will be sent directly to them. 

“We will do everything in our power to guarantee that the money is delivered to them as quickly as possible, hopefully within a week or two,” he said at the BWI handout ceremony. 

Kampung Bukit Changgang resident Dr Muhammad Afif, 74, was grateful for the aid provided by Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. 

“We did not expect the floodwaters to be as catastrophic as it was. “My children and a handful of volunteers assisted with the cleaning. While we managed to salvage most of the furnishings, the damage to my home has not been repaired.”

He also hoped the government will make better use of meteorological information in the future to better prepare for disasters like this.

“The fact that we were not expecting it meant that we did not have enough time to prepare.

“This should serve as a lesson to the next generation, so we can avoid another calamity of this magnitude in the future,” he added. 

Another beneficiary, Mohd Ariffin Jusoh, 73, said this was the first time he had ever experienced flooding in his life. 

“I was completely unprepared for it. The floodwaters rose quickly and unexpectedly, causing extensive damage,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR). 

Mohd Ariffin was fortunate that household items obstructed the flow of water, but he saw some houses that had been entirely devastated by the floodwaters. 

“I applied for BWI last week and today, the assistance was delivered. It was a straightforward procedure. 

“The assistance provided by the PM goes above and beyond my expectations.” 

Mohd Ariffin described the BWI as a tremendous help and hoped that the PM could reach those who were worse affected than him. The retiree also hoped that the government would provide assistance to the elderly in the impacted areas. 

“I am an old man with no family here. With this assistance, I will be able to reconstruct my home and, perhaps, have a pleasant retirement,” he said. 

The 1st phase of BWI reached a distribution rate of 97% and the number of assistance applications is expected to increase

Meanwhile, in Shah Alam, a ray of hope was seen by some 1,000 flood victims, who expressed their appreciation and gratitude for the RM1,000 BWI cash assistance which would help them rise from the disaster. 

Norafeezah Sairi, 39, said the money would go towards repair works on her and her mother’s homes. 

“My mother had also received the BWI, but she is utilising it to repair the badly damaged electric wirings of her house. 

“I am going to immediately call an electrician because electricity is very important for daily activities,” she told TMR when met at Dewan Kenanga in Section 28 on Tuesday. 

The BWI distribution was also held at Dewan Azalea in Sri Muda, Klang, where recipients with appointments waited for their turns from as early as 8.30am, while abiding to standard operating procedures. 

Recipient Mat Said Sudin, 63, said he will use the BWI and BPBK money to purchase equipment for his catering business to restart his life and earn a steady income. 

He said he was unable to save the equipment from the rapidly rising floodwater. 

“I lost almost RM100,000 to the floods, including damages to my home and two vehicles. 

“The BWI that I received today will definitely help to lighten this heavy burden,” said the Kampung Bukit Lanchong, Subang Jaya, resident of 20 years. 

Klang district officer Mohd Faizal Abdul Raji said a total of 1,500 flood victims came to Dewan Azalea to collect their BWI and BPBK aid. 

“The BWI programme in Selangor will continue until all eligible applicants receive the monetary assistance. We will ensure nobody is left behind,” Mohd Faizal said.