DPM: Malaysia to work with UN to ensure better flood preparedness

A house in Kampung Parik, Kuala Betis that is destroyed by the flood, January 10, 2015. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
A house in Kampung Parik, Kuala Betis that is destroyed by the flood, January 10, 2015. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 27 — Malaysia will study the disaster management models of disaster-prone countries, such as Philippine, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, and work with the United Nations disaster management division to formulate a better disaster management model for the future.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said a comprehensive study of the status of the National Security Council (NSC) and the aptness of the formation of an agencies or a department for disaster management in the country should also be carried out.

“A special meeting will be held soon to discuss the SOP (standard operating procedures) we are adopting all this while... and what can be done to improve the procedures for managing disasters in the years to come.”

Muhyiddin, who is the Chairman of the National Disaster Management Committee, said this to reporters after chairing the second meeting of the Post-Flood Action Plan in Perdana Putra here today.

He said today’s meeting also saw the presentation on the setting up of the Post-Flood Recovery Unit, which would handle all aspects of flood recovery, including construction of new houses, repair of damaged homes, infrastructure and other aspects concerning social economic rehabilitation of the flood victims.

The deputy prime minister said the government had decided to provide aid of between RM5,000 and RM10,000 to repair each damaged house.

For homes which damage had been verified, he said repair work could be carried out and appointment of contractor could be made by the Rural and Regional Development Ministry no later than April.

“Appointment of contractors can be made as many as necessary so that the work can be carried out as soon as possible,” he said.

On houses which were 100 per cent destroyed, Muhyiddin said the number was estimated at 2,090 units and half of the house owners would not face much problems they were also land owners and that new homes for them would easily be developed on the existing land, compared to the remaining house owners who did not own the land.

“So, we have sought the cooperation of the state government to provide suitable sites for the construction of the houses. I was informed by the Kelantan mentri besar that 20 hectares of land will be made available as the new settlement areas for the flood victims,” he said.

On the distribution of compassionate money, Muhyiddin said approximately 33,000 flood victims had received the money, while the remaining 77,000 victims would receive the money no later than the first week of March.

“Overall, more than RM50 million is allocated for the purpose and another RM30 million is to be distributed to over 70,000 households or families who have yet to receive aid of RM500,” he said.

In a bid to help the small and medium-scale entrepreneurs affected by floods to bounce back, the recovery unit would coordinate cooperation with the Ministry of Finance and several aid agencies, such as Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia, TEKUN and the SME Bank.

He said those who needed assistance in terms of grants or interest-free loans, were advised to deal directly with the unit.

“The unit will submit their applications to the relevant agencies so that they could restart their businesses immediately,” he said.

Muhyiddin also said the ‘template’ of exemplary methods implemented by the Kemaman district office in the management of the recent floods would also be shared with other districts affected by the floods. — Bernama