National Disaster Management Agency to expand presence throughout the country, says DPM

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail speaks during a press conference at Perdana Putra Complex in Putrajaya June 8, 2018. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail speaks during a press conference at Perdana Putra Complex in Putrajaya June 8, 2018. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

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PUTRAJAYA, June 8 — The National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) will open management centres in all stated nationwide to encourage people to be more involved in its efforts so that the agency role is more effective, says Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail today.

She said currently Nadma operates only in one control centre and will despatch its staff to other states when the need arises.

“There must be presence of Nadma in all the states not only to assist but to also train more people,” said Dr Wan Azizah during a press conference at the Perdana Putra building today together with Nadma director Datuk Ahmad Jailani Muhamad Yunus.

Dr Wan Azizah said the agency will also start a group called Friends of Nadma (Sahabat Nadma) to encourage more participation from volunteers in rescue efforts to be trained on disaster management.

“We never expected an earthquake to happen here but look what happened in Mount Kinabalu, the rescuers were not trained and had to rely on the tourists guides for help during the search and rescue.

“Even so, sometimes their intentions are good, but the volunteers are sometimes not proactive and only wait for help, so with proper training they can have a better clue on management,” she said.

Dr Wan Azizah stressed on the  importance of implementing a disaster risk audit separately for all states, seeing the each state was exposed to different level of potential disasters.

“The east coast has to be prepared for potential typhoons, while the West coast is exposed to tremors and possible tsunamis from Indonesia.

“I will also push for a policy change in the parliament, as Nadma now has only 115 full time staff, so we also need to expand for them to carry out their duties effectively,” she said.

Dr Wan Azizah also pointed out that Nadma must look into ways to implement an early warning system, either a siren or a warning text message, and for the agency to improve its disaster risk forecast systems.

She also suggested that Nadma relook at the 20 Standing Orders issued by the National Security Council following the Highland Towers tragedy in 1993.

“The standing orders were made more than 20 years ago following the tragedy, so maybe it needs to be re-examined and improved,” she added. 

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