KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 29 — The government will ensure the distribution of all aid and assistance meant for flood victims to be implemented in a comprehensive and effective manner under the Keluarga Malaysia Flood Aid initiative with a total allocation of RM1.4 billion.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob under the initiative, the government has also made several improvements in relation to the compassionate aid (BWI) which includes RM1,000 for every head of household (KIR) affected by floods even if they were not evacuated to relief centres.
“Also provided is RM10,000 to next-of-kin of flood victims who perished in floods. Now, the victims can also apply for the BWI every time a disaster strikes and not just once during the North-east monsoon as before.
“Realising that the flood victims are in dire need of cash, the state governments have begun making BWI payments from December 27 and the distribution of the aid is expected to complete by end of this week,” he said in a statement today.
However, he said the distribution of BWI in Selangor and Pahang might take a while as it involved a large number of victims.
“For this, I have instructed the relevant quarters to cut the red tape and ease the BWI payments to the victims without having to fill in numerous forms as practised before,” he said.
So far, Ismail Sabri said over 30,000 KIR were registered to receive the BWI.
He said the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) has channelled an initial allocation of RM34 million to 11 states so far, and 25 next-of-kin of victims who perished in floods had received the BWI of RM10,000 each.
He said the government had also allocated RM100 million for post-flood operations, and an additional RM50 million for Selangor and Pahang which were to be used for the repair and cleaning of affected houses and public facilities and infrastructures.
The prime minister said the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) together with the National Solid Waste Management Department (JPSPN), Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp) and appointed contractors were in the midst of cleaning the flood-affected areas.
In order to expedite the work of collecting and sending flood waste to landfills, he said the KPKT had also increased manpower by appointing more contractors to go to the affected areas, including those that were previously inaccessible.
“The government has allocated an additional RM10 million for that purpose including to clean the roads, public facilities and victims’ houses,” he said.
As of yesterday, Ismail Sabri said 3,000 tonnes of flood-related waste had been cleared in five affected states namely Selangor, Pahang, Kuala Lumpur, Negri Sembilan and Melaka involving more than 1,700 workers under the supervision of the KPKT.
Meanwhile, to provide more cash access to victims in need, Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN), is offering interest-free financing of up to RM10,000 with a repayment period of up to 3.5 years, including a six-month repayment moratorium.
In addition, Bank Negara Malaysia with an allocation amounting to RM500 million provides Disaster Relief Facility (DRF) through commercial banks of up to RM500,000 to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and up to RM75,000 to micro-entrepreneurs, with a financing period of up to five years including a moratorium on repayment of up to six months with a financing rate of up to 3.5 per cent per annum, he said.
“Applications for BSN loans and DRF funds opened on December 27. As of December 28, BSN received an application value of RM25 million and has already approved loans amounting to RM10 million,” he said.
In addition to financial aid, Ismail Sabri said the government would provide assistance to flood victims to repair their houses and personal vehicles besides basic necessities.
Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said the Government-Linked Companies and Government-Linked Investment Companies (GDRN) Disaster Response Network, which aimed to mobilise efforts to provide aid to flood victims, had assisted 15,000 families since December 19.
He said Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) would provide a 100 per cent rebate for the December electricity bill to affected domestic consumers, adding that the government has also agreed to give vouchers to allow victims to replace damaged electrical equipment.
“Each eligible KIR can apply for and obtain a voucher worth RM500 when making a purchase either physically at a registered store and supermarket or on e-commerce platforms recognised by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources,” he said.
Ismail Sabri said to cushion the losses suffered by motorists with water-damaged private vehicles, several initiatives were also implemented including by Perodua that is offering free towing services to its service centres, free repairs and related services as well as a 50 per cent discount on spare parts.
In addition, he said, Proton has agreed to give a 50 per cent discount on spare parts for most car models as well as offer free towing and car wash services at registered service centres.
The prime minister said almost all other car manufacturers agreed to provide free towing services and a discount of 25 per cent or more on spare parts and repair service at registered service centres, adding that several companies also offered payment in instalments up to one year.
He said other initiatives include a RM1,000 voucher for repair or purchase to replace private vehicles that have suffered total damage.
Ismail Sabri said the government has always taken a holistic approach through various initiatives and measures to ensure the Keluarga Malaysia welfare is always protected and hoped that all the initiatives could help ease the burden of those affected by the floods.
“Together we work and pray that the impact of this flood disaster can be tackled immediately so that we can focus our efforts on the economic recovery and growth next year,” he said.
The prime minister also extended his sympathies and condolences to the families of victims who died in the floods.
“To the Muslims, let us recite Al-Fatihah and pray that their souls are placed among the righteous. For the non-Muslims, let’s take a moment to reflect on this tragedy,” he said. — Bernama