Call to flush out inconsistencies in assistance for flood victims

Azlan Othman

The issue of assistance rendered to flood victims was raised at the sixth day of the 17th Legislative Council (LegCo) session yesterday.

LegCo member Yang Berhormat Haji Ramli bin Haji Lahit pointed out that assistance in the form of food rations, transport and financial aid for flood victims in Tutong District were not consistent, and called for discussions to be held between the relevant agencies and flood victims.

Minister of Home Affairs Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong said discussions are held on what to anticipate before the occurrence of a flood, and that integrated efforts made to mitigate floods and assist victims.

For those residing in areas inaccessible to normal or 4WD vehicles, Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) trucks are deployed.

All these come under the standard operating procedures (SOPs) at the district disaster management centre, while food assistance comes under the Community Development Department (JAPEM) at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS).

Meanwhile, LegCo member Yang Berhormat Haji Emran bin Haji Sabtu called for the provision of a better venue for roadside vendors at Peradayan, Batu Apoi, Labu in Temburong District.

Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar pointed out that stalls provided at a festive area have received lukewarm public response, and advised vendors against operating by the roadside for safety reasons.

A whole-of-government and whole-of-nation approach is needed for these vendors to conduct their business at permanent stalls.

Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar also lauded youth efforts in promoting the One Village, One Product, (1K1P) and their involvement in improving the economy.

File photo shows a flood stricken area in Kuala Ungar. PHOTO: AZLAN OTHMAN