KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 30 — The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) and Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) are on standby ahead of another possible wave of floods, the defence minister said.

Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said that almost 3,000 officers and more than 300 assets are ready for deployment should the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) as well as other related agencies require their assistance.

“In this regard, I have instructed the chief of the defence forces and chiefs of the army, navy and air force to ensure that the readiness of ATM personnel, especially in the states concerned, is at the highest level.

“It is important to ensure that the mobilisation of personnel and assets can be implemented at any time if needed and that the rescue operation for flood victims to be mobilised at the right time,” he said in a statement today.

He also announced that the ministry has received a total of RM3.7 million in contributions from five private companies. They are Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT), Affin Bank Bhd, Sapura Group, Boustead Group and Pharmaniaga Bhd.

Hishammuddin also mentioned that the ministry will offer more one-off cash assistance to veterans on top of the RM1,000 that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has announced for flood victims.

He also thanked the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government for its contribution to officers, veterans and Mindef civilians who were affected by the flood.

Yesterday, the ministry announced that it had given RM500 in cash payouts to 104 personnel, including 26 civilian staff, whose families were affected when floods hit the Batu Tiga Camp in Temerloh, Pahang recently.

Hishammuddin said the handout was in addition to the RM1,000 assistance announced by the prime minister and the RM500 aid disbursed by the Pahang government.

He said apart from cash, Mindef had also supplied food baskets as well as basic household equipment such as refrigerators, kettles, stoves, rice cookers, pillows, mattresses, bed sheets, blankets and beds.

Last Sunday, the government agreed to set up a special task force for post-flood activities and in preparation for a possible second wave of floods, as announced by Ismail Sabri.

He said the task force would be chaired by Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali.