KUALA LUMPUR, March — The National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) has never rejected or reduced the list of Bantuan Wang Ihsan (BWI) flood applicants that has been certified by state and district disaster management committees.

Minister in Prime Minister's Department (Sabah, Sarawak Affairs and Special Functions) Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali said this was because Nadma did not have the authority and approach to review and filter BWI recipients who have been filtered at state and district levels.

As soon as the BWI recipient lists were obtained from the states, Nadma would immediately channel aid within a week at the latest to state agencies to hand over to the recipients.

“....for us (Nadma), the responsibility (to review and filer BWI recipients) is left to the state and district, who are out there and know who is affected by the disaster," he said in reply to Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias (BN-Jelebu), who brought up the claim that 609 approved BWI recipients had yet to receive payments since 2021 during the winding up session of the debate related to the floods at the Dewan Rakyat today.

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Armizan said he would look into the matter to identify the cause and errors that resulted in outstanding payments to approved BWI recipients.

Also, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the Social Welfare Department has mobilised additional stocks from the disaster needs depot and the mini depot on March 2 to fulfil needs in Johor.

She added that her ministry has also activated the Emergency Procurement and the additional supplies have been received since March 3 and distributed in stages to all affected districts.

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"About packed food sent to relief centres that was spoilt, the Social Welfare Department has issued stern warnings to appointed food suppliers and will terminate the services of those who do not improve their standard and quality,” she said.

On the alternative method of directly preparing food at centres, Nancy said the applicability was subject to certain other factors, including the ability to supply fresh ingredients to be prepared at the centres.

Meanwhile, Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said his ministry, through the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID), had deployed 38 mobile pumps as of Sunday.

"Also, six mobile pumps have been installed in critical flood areas in Pontian and Mersing, Johor to speed up the flow of floodwaters yesterday,” he added.

On the release of water at a dam in Johor, Nik Nazmi said the DID had done so based on set standard operating procedures, taking into consideration the weather forecast issued by the Malaysian Meteorological Department (METMalaysia).

He said the release was done to avoid the risk of higher casualties and property loss and the DID had also activated warning sirens at the dam on March 1 and informed the Batu Pahat district disaster operation centre.

Seven MPs took part in the debate on the floods that are currently affecting the country after the Dewan Rakyat sitting agreed to debate the motion at 1 pm today.

The motion was tabled by Wong Shu Qi (PH-Kluang), who suggested that the Dewan Rakyat urge the government to take more proactive measures to protect lives and property threatened by climate change. — Bernama