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All flood victims to get aid

PEKAN: The Government has decided to give compassionate aid to all the people affected by the floods but the quantum will be decided only after the floods recede, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

He said the Government had yet to decide on the quantum because the situation in most flood-hit areas had yet to return to normal and there was fear of a second wave of floods striking soon.

“We will decide on the quantum of compassionate aid at the appropriate time,” the Deputy Prime Minister told reporters after visiting the flood relief centre in Kampung Pulau Rusa, where he handed over Hari Raya Haji sacrificial meat to 185 flood evacuees.

Najib, who is chairman of the National Disaster Management and Relief Committee, said the Government would evaluate the flood damage to infrastructure and undertake all repairs once the floods receded.

Test of faith: A Muslim praying at a flooded cemetery during the Hari Raya Aidiladha celebrations in Rantau Panjang yesterday. — Reuters
He said the Cabinet had also decided on the introduction of long-term flood mitigation measures by looking at the overall national development policy with a view to shifting development away from flood-prone areas.

“If development work has yet to be started, we will avert it, and if there are houses in flood-prone areas, we will consider whether to shift them to safer areas or improve the drainage system there, and so on,” he said.

Najib, who is Pekan MP, said suggestions have been made for dredges to be stationed all year round at major rivers such as Sungai Pahang to deepen the waterways to allow for water to flow swiftly and reduce the incidence of floods.

“The sand dug up from these waterways can be sold for development projects,” he said.

Referring to the current floods, which have hit Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Johor and Kedah, Najib said he was satisfied with the management of the welfare of the evacuees and despatch of food supplies to the relief centres.

He said food supplies, for example, were sent to flood relief centres on time.

“We were also able to send the necessary aid to people cut off by floodwaters and who were unable to move to the relief centres,” he added.

For the first time, the Government also airdropped food supplies over Pekan, the district in Pahang worst affected by the floods

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