Malaysia’s disaster agencies prepared to face year-end floods, says deputy minister

KUALA LUMPUR: Close to 77,000 staff members of various agencies are fully prepared to face the possibility of floods all over Malaysia at the end of this year, a deputy minister said. 

Madam Mastura Mohd Yazid, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, told the Lower House on Monday (Oct 3) that a preparedness task force will be meeting ahead of the north-east monsoon season.

“A total of 76,336 officers and personnel of response agencies at all levels including the district level are in a state of full readiness,” she said.

The Department of Irrigation and Drainage (JPS) has also prepared equipment such as flood warning sirens and mobile pumps, according to the minister.  

Mdm Mastura added that RM50,000 (US$10,755) was allocated to each district in the country while RM1.08 million has been channelled to eight response agencies.

She said that the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) has allocated RM30,000 to each district for the purchase of two motorised fiberglass boats while the Department of Social Welfare has prepared 6,010 temporary relief centres that could house more than 1.6 million victims.

“The state disaster management committees and the district disaster management committees have also been instructed to prepare in advance to ensure that aid and supplies reach all involved locations,” she said, adding that this is to avoid the situation where delivery of aid is hampered by road closures. 

Hang Tuah Jaya MP Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin asked the deputy minister about the disaster management committee’s preparedness if the 15th general election were held during the floods, but it was dismissed by speaker Azhar Azizan Harun. 

“That question is speculative, so it cannot be allowed as per standing orders,” he said. 

The United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) has been calling for snap polls, but this was criticised by opposition politicians who said that emphasis should be placed on flood mitigation measures instead.

Last Friday, UMNO’s supreme council decided that parliament must be dissolved soon for GE15 to be held this year.

Source: CNA

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