DPM: Govt mulling sinking fund for industries to reduce impact of disasters

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail attends National Preparedness Month at SMART headquarters in Pulau Meranti October 8, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail attends National Preparedness Month at SMART headquarters in Pulau Meranti October 8, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May

PUCHONG, Oct 8 — Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail today said the government may consider implementing a “sinking fund” in order to increase industry player's responsibility in managing and restoring disasters in the country.

She said the fund, which is being studied by the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry, would help prevent incidents such as fire, haze, and chemical pollution.

“Implementing the fund will also mean industry players will have to contribute to its operating costs, as well as towards the management of any disasters and the subsequent restoration efforts,” Dr Wan Azizah said after launching the National Preparedness Month 2019 at the Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team in Pulau Meranti.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail attends National Preparedness Month at SMART headquarters in Pulau Meranti October 8, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail attends National Preparedness Month at SMART headquarters in Pulau Meranti October 8, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May

She said when companies contribute to the fund, it would make clean-up and relief coordination efforts much more efficient.

“It is still too early to say more, so now it is up to the ministry to see how it can be best carried out, or if the fund is to be tabled in Parliament as law,” Dr Wan Azizah said.

In her speech during the launch, she said handling disasters should not be the sole responsibility of the government.

“The culture of preparedness among the rakyat must involve coordinated teamwork among government agencies in the centre, state, and district level, as well as the private sector and NGOs, right up to individuals.

“We must endeavour to optimise the level of preparedness in handling disasters, prioritising lives and minimising infrastructural damage and losses to society, industries, the government and the nation as a whole,” Dr Wan Azizah said.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail attends National Preparedness Month at SMART headquarters in Pulau Meranti October 8, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail attends National Preparedness Month at SMART headquarters in Pulau Meranti October 8, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May

The event also saw the launch of the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) campaign, which she encouraged everyone contribute by donating funds.

“At present any donations towards disasters is managed by various parties, with no coordination.

“Therefore this fund will assist the government in streamlining any aid contributed, in a transparent and honest manner,” Dr Wan Azizah said.

She added all NDRF donations will be placed in the Kumpulan Wang Amanah Bantuan Bencana Negara, to be used when necessary.

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