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.
Unrestrained power in your hands
For almost 20 years, Malaysiakini has stayed true to the cause of providing the Malaysian public with the truth. We believe that with unadulterated information, the people will obtain power to make informed decisions.
Decisions which lead to a healthy, robust nation - ours!
Keep the truth alive. Support your robust, independent media. You have the unrestrained power to do so.
Who says it's not our fault?
We aren’t trained to take responsibility.
Everytime we observe an injustice - and choose to keep mum - the prevalence of injustice becomes our fault.
Astute journalism paves the way for the public to be continuously furnished with the fastidious truth. You are continuously empowered to act and to uphold the integrity of the nation.
The Rakyat owns Malaysiakini
We choose to take a risk on independent media because we believe that only through independent reporting can one be NOT beholden to the interest of businesses or organisations. This allows us to really pursue the truth - aggressively.
Independent for 20 years.
The victorious people
In the light of holding the truth to power, Malaysiakini will continue to uphold its mission of providing credible news to its discerning public. Your support for Malaysiakini is always treasured as a testament of innate nationalism. Your victory is our history.
Quietly. Effectively. Says it all. Malaysiakini.
Speaking truth to power
When we embarked on this journey 20 years ago, we knew we would face intimidation, harassment, raids, arrests and perhaps even jail terms. We got into this venture with our eyes wide open.
The main reason we have survived this long - when many others have folded - is partly because we are prudent in our finances. But while we may be tightfisted in our budgeting, we do not hold back when it comes to speaking truth to power and holding power to account. And certainly, this new administration will not stop us from continuing to do so.