PARLIAMENT | The involvement of the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) in handling the health crisis in Kuala Koh, Gua Musang, helped it formulate a more effective disaster management strategy and action plan, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the Kuala Koh health crisis was classified as Disaster Level One, and was managed in line with disaster management culture – encompassing preparedness, response and rehabilitation and mitigation to reduce its impact.
“Nadma will also carry out a postmortem for the incident to study and identify the room for improvement in the management of future disasters,” she said during Minister's Question Time.
This was in response to Syed Ibrahim Syeh Noh (Harapan-Ledang) who wanted to know the extent of Nadma's involvement during the Kuala Koh crisis, and its roles in ensuring that the incident would not happen in other districts.
Elaborating, the deputy prime minister said among Nadma's roles during the disaster was to formulate a disaster management strategy through technical discussions at the operational and strategic levels to prevent the situation from getting worse.
Wan Azizah said Nadma also advised the operations commander in terms of having the Disaster Operation Control Centre (PTKT) function as a public aid coordination centre.
It also advised district and state disaster management committee chairpersons on ensuring that the PKTK stayed active and operational.
“Nadma also helped coordinate the operations involving the technical team with the village tok batin, representatives of the Orang Asli, NGOs and the media to identify the locations for water sampling, and for the Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team to find and remove the bodies of the Orang Asli from their burial sites."
On a proposal to use existing technology, such as health data profiling software to detect diseases in the community, Wan Azizah said this was difficult to implement as the Orang Asli periodically move through the jungle.
However, she said the government’s priority now is to continuously enhance public awareness and change the Orang Asli mindset on the importance of personal hygiene to prevent infectious diseases.