PUTRAJAYA, Jan 10 — The federal government today pledged its commitment to expedite house rebuilding and restoration works for those whose residences were damaged in the massive floods following torrential rains across the country last month. 

Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican said data obtained by his ministry showed a total of 8,257 applications — 118 for rebuilding, 81,139 for restoring — were eligible for the initiative now called Rumah Kasih Keluarga Malaysia.

“This is just in the early stages and the figures are not static but dynamic since there are still areas currently inundated by floods.

“For restoration works it will take up to two weeks and between four to five months for rebuilding.

“I want to reassure everyone that no one will be left behind,” he said in a joint press conference with Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid here.

The pledge from both ministers today follows the initial fund of RM100 million to repair houses and infrastructure damaged in the massive floods following torrential rains across the country last month, announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob last December 19.

Reezal said the first phase of the initiative involved data gathering on the district level followed by data syncing on the state level which will then be compiled by the Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) under the Prime Minister’s Department.

Subsequent to that, a data verification process will take place involving agencies under both ministries before works could actually take place.

According to Reezal, the initiative will be spearheaded by Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB) for rebuilding and Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia (PR1MA) for restoration works.

As for rural residences and those outside of the local government’s jurisdiction, the effort will be spearheaded by agencies under the Rural Development ministry 

Mahdzir said an early estimate showed some RM50 million is needed for the rebuilding and restoration process under his ministry.

Citing his ministry’s data, Mahdzir said a total of 165 houses will need to be rebuilt with another 1,879 houses needing restoration, subjected to change since the floods have yet to recede in several other states such as Johor and Sabah.

Under the initiative, the government will rebuild a 660-square feet single storey house that comes with three bedrooms and two washrooms.

For house restoration works, the government is also offering up to RM15,000 and up to RM56,000 for rebuilding in financial assistance that must be applied through the respective district Disaster Operations Control Centre.