SEGAMAT, March 5 — The government has maintained its decision to not declare a disaster emergency in Johor as the weather in the state is seen to be improving, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
“The government’s decision to not declare a state of emergency is because rain has started to taper off and floodwaters have begun to recede in several places.
“Although there are also some places where the floodwaters remain stagnant, there is no need for a (disaster) emergency (to be declared) for now,” he told reporters after visiting a relief centre at Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) Kampung Tengah, here today.
He said this when asked about the latest status of the floods in Johor and whether there was a need to declare a state of emergency due to the increasing number of flood victims in the state.
The Cabinet meeting on Friday decided that there was no need for a flood emergency to be declared in Johor.
However, the unusual floods in the state have seen the number of victims increase to 46,742 as of 12 pm today, with Batu Pahat being the worst hit district with 15,915 people being evacuated to relief centres.
Anwar also instructed all the government agencies involved to immediately assess the damage caused by the floods and help those who had lost property and had their access to electricity and water supply cut off.
“Do it immediately... don’t wait any longer. As soon as the water recedes, the houses (affected by the floods) must be functional,” he said.
In addition, he said the Selangor government as well as related departments in the Federal Territories (Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya) will provide garbage trucks for post-flood clean-up.
Anwar said flood relief efforts from university students and non-governmental organisations (NGO) will also be coordinated to help the flood victims clean their house.
The Prime Minister also praised Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi and the state government for coordinating efforts through the State Disaster Management Committee in channelling aid and helping flood victims.
Anwar also said that he was moved by the spirit shown by Malaysians in facing the calamity in the state.
“Members of the public, NGOs, have helped a lot. There ara also excess food in some places (relief centres), which demonstrates the strength of the spirit of Malaysians, people of all races (are helping each other) in facing trials and hardship including floods,” he said.
Also accompanying Anwar’s visit was Onn Hafiz and Johor police chief Datuk Kamarul Zaman Mamat. — Bernama