No flood aid forthcoming from the ‘good friend of Sarawak’?
LETTER | I urge the Sarawak government to provide additional aid to all the victims of the recent flood in the state to help them get back on their feet, as well as to help them with the necessary repairs or even replacement of properties lost during the flood.
I am disappointed that during Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak recent visit to Sarawak, he did not announce any special aid in view of the devastating flood that had displaced up to 5,679 victims in 31 relief centres.
Just last month, he he was reported saying that he is monitoring the flood conditions in the different states, including Sarawak, and claimed that adequate aid will be given to the victims.
Claiming to be a “friend of Sarawak,” he has yet to offer the needed help especially to the victims of the flood in the state, in comparison to the RM 500 aid offered by the federal government offered to the victims of flood in Kelantan in 2014.
This of course, speaks volumes of his insincerity to help the people of Sarawak, especially for those affected by the floods.
Now that the floods conditions have slowly gotten better, and the families are starting to move back to their homes, the process of cleaning and rebuilding is essential to every family, especially those that were affected by the floods.
I thus propose to the Sarawak government to provide a special aid to these families, on top of any other form of aid to help with the rebuilding process, especially those in urgent need of repairs, or replacement for properties damaged in the flood.
I would propose a direct minimum one-off payment of RM1,000 per family that was displaced during the flood, which will come up to an estimate of RM 1.7 million based on the reported 1,722 households affected.
These allocations should also be extended to other households that were affected although not displaced, on top of further allocations up to RM 15-20 million for repair works, especially homes that were damaged by the flood.
This does not include the additional allocations needed for repairs of other public infrastructure, including school buildings, roads and other public infrastructure.
During the Penang flood, the Penang government under Pakatan Harapan gave aid up to RM 700 to all the households affected by the flood, on top of the RM 100 million in emergency flood relief for victims.
If the Penang government, who has little help and federal funding, or even natural resources, can manage such an allocation for reportedly over 100,000 households and businesses that were affected by the flood, what excuse does the Sarawak government have, especially since they have always boast of their high reserves and their wealth of natural resources?
I thus strongly urge the federal and state government to show their sincerity in helping the victims and allocate the necessary aid to the victims of the flood to help them rebuild.
I would also specially want to thank and honour all volunteers and department servants who worked very hard to help flood victims across the state, including those from the military, Civil Defence Force, Fire and Rescue Department, police, National Disaster Management Agency, Health Department, Agriculture Department, Public Works Department, district offices and others.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.