State govt urged to provide additional aid for flood victims

Bomba personnel prepare to distribute aid to people affected by the recent floods. — Photo courtesy of Bomba

KUCHING, Feb 12: Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak is urging the state government to provide additional aid to all the victims of the recent floods in Sarawak.

Special assistant to State DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen, Dr Kevin Yii said this should be done to help flood victims to get back on their feet as well as assist them with the necessary repairs or even replacement of property lost during the flood.

“Now that the flood conditions have slowly gotten better and the families are starting to move back to their homes, the process of cleaning and rebuilding is essential for every family especially those that were affected by the floods.

“I thus propose to the state government to provide special aid to these families, on top of other aids, if any, by the federal government to help these families with the rebuilding process especially those in urgent need of repairs or replacement for property damaged in the flood,” Yii said in a statement today.

He proposed a direct minimum one-off payment of RM1,000 per family that was displaced during the flood which will come up to an estimate of RM1.7 million based on the reported 1,722 households affected.

Photo shows the evacuation of villagers from Kampung Batu Danau and Medait in Limbang. A total of 33 people were placed in a temporary shelter at Dewan Buluh Baloi, Limbang. — Photo courtesy of Bomba

“The allocations should also be afforded to other households that were affected although not displaced, on top of further allocations up to RM15-20 million for aid for repairs works especially homes that were damaged by the flood.”

He said this would not include the additional allocations needed for the repair of other public infrastructure including school buildings and roads.

Citing the example of Penang’s response to flood, Yii said the Penang state government under Pakatan Harapan gave aid up to RM700 to all the households affected by the flood on top of the RM100 million in emergency flood relief for victims.

“If the Penang government, who has little help and federal funding and even natural resources can manage such an allocation for reportedly over 100,000 households and businesses that were affected by the flood, what excuse will the Sarawak state government have, especially since they have always boast of their high reserves and riches in natural resources.”

Bomba personnel access the situation while evacuating villagers from Rumah Jimbun in Stapang. — Photo courtest of Bomba

Yii also state his displeasure at Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during the latter’s recent visit to Sarawak.

“Najib did not announce any special aid in view of the devastating flood that has displaced reportedly up to 5,679 victims in 31 relief centres around the state. It was only in Jan 3 this year that he was reported as saying he is monitoring the flood conditions in the different states including Sarawak.

“Claiming to be a ‘friend of Sarawak’, he said adequate aid will be given to the victims but he has yet to offer the needed help especially to the victims of the flood in the state in comparison to the aid of RM500 offered by the federal government to the victims of flood in Kelantan in 2014. This of course, speaks volume of his insincerity to help the people of Sarawak especially those affected by the floods,” Yii lamented.

He strongly urged the federal and state governments to show their sincerity in helping the victims and allocate the necessary aid to help them rebuild after the floods.

Meanwhile, Yii also conveyed his thanks to all volunteers and government servants who worked diligently to help flood victims across the state, including those from the military, Civil Defence Forces, Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba), Royal Malaysia Police, Nadma, district offices, Health Department, Agriculture Department, and Public Works Department (JKR). — DayakDaily