KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday described the floods this time as abnormal and devastating, saying serious damage was caused to property in several states, particularly Kelantan and Terengganu.
He said there was serious damage to property and basic infrastructure and the repair cost would be huge.
“The extent of damage is very serious and the loss to individuals is huge. This does not include the expenditure the government has to bear in terms of repairing basic infrastructure such as schools, roads, mosques and so on,” he told a news conference after launching the Wanita Umno Flood Clean-up Squad at Menara Datuk Onn.
Najib gave the assurance that the government would provide help to all flood victims after the aid for each individual had been assessed.
The prime minister said the government would initially build longhouses as temporary shelter for the people who had lost their houses to the floods and then construct new houses for them.
“I want to know the number of families whose houses have been completely destroyed as well as the location. We will determine the allocation and such later,” he said.
The Wanita Umno Flood Clean-up Squad will help the flood victims to clean their houses of mud and slime and isolate the useable furniture and equipment.
The prime minister said up to 100,000 members of the squad would be mobilised and the number would be increased from time to time until the floods had fully receded.
Najib, who is also Umno president, also launched a flood assistance centre fully managed by Wanita Umno that would operate from 9am to midnight daily at Menara Datuk Onn for the duration of the current floods.
“All Umno divisions or individuals who wish to make donations can contact the Umno headquarters at 03-4042 9511 or 03-4048 2788,” he said.
Najib said aid would be distributed directly to the flood victims through the Umno divisions and branches to ensure that all of them receive the aid provided by the various NGOs as well as individuals.
Meanwhile, Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil thanked all those who had donated aid and said the donations would be brought to the flood-hit states by the ‘Skuad Sayang’ (Caring Squad).