Mindef prepared to increase assets in East Coast states

Currently, a total of 552 ATM officers and personnel, as well as 54 trucks and 44 boats had been deployed for flood operations nationwide

THE Defence Ministry (Mindef) is prepared to increase the strength of assets and members of the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) for flood operations in the East Coast states.

Its minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said it would take into account several factors, including the frequency of flood to occur in a year.

“If there is a need to increase the strength of members and assets, we can…because the floods in Terengganu, in particular, leave a huge impact every year.

“But for now, the mobilisation of assets and members does not take long. If from Melaka and Negri Sembilan, we can do it immediately.

“For operations in Terengganu, ATM can mobilise its assets from the Fourth Brigade in Pahang,” he told reporters after visiting the flood victims at the relief centre (PPS) at SK Banggol Peradong today.

Mohamad said ATM assets such as combat boats and seven-tonne trucks, are helpful in flood disaster operations because they are able to reach deeper into the affected disaster areas.

He said a total of 552 ATM officers and personnel had been deployed nationwide, while the assets involved included 11 seven-tonne trucks, three-tonne trucks (38), one-tonne trucks (five), boats (22 units) and OBM boats (22 units).

For Terengganu, he said, a total of 13 ATM officers and 308 members had been mobilised together with 20 trucks and seven combat boats and engines, as well as various equipment to facilitate communication links.

Meanwhile, he advised flood victims at the PPS not to return to their homes even when the flood water has receded until they are given permission to do so by the authority. — Bernama