True to having the people’s welfare at heart, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail spent a good part of her 67th birthday today visiting and giving assurances to flood evacuees in Kelantan and Terengganu.
The deputy prime minister called at two flood relief centres in Kelantan and one in Terengganu, and was surprised when several of the evacuees wished her well. She responded with a smile and a “thank you”.
Wan Azizah, who is also women, family and community development minister, received a big surprise at the relief centre at Sekolah Kebangsaan Kamil 1 in Pasir Puteh where the relief workers brought out a birthday cake, sang the "Happy Birthday" song and held a doa selamat.
She had gone to the centre at 11.55am and spent some time greeting and meeting the flood evacuees who have been there for the past few days.
The birthday cake was cut and distributed to the children at the relief centre.
Earlier, Wan Azizah visited the relief centre at Sekolah Kebangsaan Gual Tinggi in Rantau Panjang, arriving there at about 10am and was welcomed by Kelantan Pakatan Harapan chairperson senator Husam Musa, who is also the chairperson of Kemubu Agriculture Development Authority (Kada).
The deputy prime minister was given a briefing on the flood situation by Pasir Mas district officer Nik Mohamed Noor Nik ishak.
Latest statistics, as of 1pm, reveal that 12,468 people from 4,341 families have been evacuated from their homes in several districts in Kelantan.
Wan Azizah distributed food kits to the evacuees, some of whom wished her "Happy Birthday" and received a smile in return.
She told reporters that there is a need to step up readiness as the monsoon season will last until February or March.
Wan Azizah said the government will also look into a more holistic solution to the annual floods in several places in the country, not only in Rantau Panjang, Pasir Mas and Tumpat.
Asked about the facilities at the relief centres, she said several matters can be improved by taking into account the sensitivities of the evacuees.
“The facilities for mothers with small children, especially mattresses for infants, can be better."
Wan Azizah then went to Terengganu and called at the flood relief centre at Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Payong in Jerteh, where 162 people from 36 families have been taking shelter over the past five days.