BERA, Jan 23 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today explained the delay in distribution of flood aid, especially involving the purchase of electrical goods amounting to RM500 and aid of RM2,500 to replace damaged items, was due to the eligibility verification process.

Despite some delays, especially those involving non-evacuated victims, Ismail Sabri said he had instructed all parties to expedite the process so that it would not be as late as the previous floods which could take up to six months.

“Some delays are due to obtaining verification from Tok Ampat (village chief) or parties involved as some were affected by the floods, but their houses are on the fifth or 10th floor with no damage on electrical goods or maybe the house was only flooded up to ankle level.

“If possible, I want to give this assistance to all, but this involves government money that has to go through audits and so on, so there are details that are needed,” he said when visiting the flood victims at the Kampung Guai Mosque here today.

At the event, Ismail Sabri presented assistance in the form of household necessities donated by the Bera parliamentary office and the Ministry of Rural Development, to 80 representatives of flood victims from Kampung Guai, Kampung Charuk Puting and Kampung Batu Bor, all in Bera district.

He also said that the government was committed to helping flood victims as soon as possible to ease their financial burden, enabling the provision of compassionate cash aid (BWI) of RM1,000 from the federal government to be disbursed immediately.

Ismail Sabri, who is also Bera Member of Parliament, thanked the authorities and residents of Bera district who acted quickly since the beginning of the flood disaster, allowing no untoward incidents to occur other than the smooth coordination of aid.

“As we have (always) been hit by floods so we were ready. Temporary evacuation centres (PPS) have been identified since the beginning and disaster management was ready from November. Village heads were also trained and those living by the river were ready with boats.

“But I would like to apologise as I could not be here physically during the floods. Every year, whenever it was flooding, I definitely came here by boat, but the big floods this time occurred in several states and I had to be at those locations too,” he said. — Bernama