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DPM: More aid coming for flood victims
29/01/2007 The Star BY MAZWIN NIK ANIS

PUTRAJAYA: More aid is coming up for the flood victims, including a maximum of RM3,000 to repair their water-ravaged homes and a second round of relief aid of RM200 per affected family.

Deputy Prime MinisterDatuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced Monday that the cash aid was part of the RM1.5bil "loss" the Government had to incur due to the first and second wave of floods that occurred in the country, mainly in Johor.

"The amount is what the Government has to spend to carry out rehabilitation and repair works, provide aid, relief and other forms of assistance to the affected people.

"The figure, however, does not include personal losses incurred by the victims or losses suffered by the business community," he told reporters after chairing the disaster management and assistance committee meeting on Monday.

In the first round of floods which started on Dec 18 last year, about 148,000 were affected.

In the second round of flood, which started on Jan 12, 134,000 people were displaced.

Najib said the government would also have to fork out money for repair works, including RM350mil for the Works Department to repair roads and bridges, RM137mil for the Rural and Regional Development Ministry to rebuild damaged rural roads and RM102mil for the Education Ministry to repair schools and replace damaged equipments.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the Government would provide up to RM3,000 for house owners to repair their homes and if the repair works cost less, the exact amount would be paid to them.

Affected families would also be given a second round of RM200 cash aid and RM500 one-off payment per family to help them purchase new appliances.

"Government-linked companies such as Tenaga Nasional Berhad and TM Berhad will carry out their own repair works without any financial assistance from the government.

"The committee has also decided that Syarikat Perumahan Negara (SPN) will be given the task to build 45 homes that were totally damaged by the floods.

"Details of this project will be determined soon and the construction of these homes would be financed by contributions from members of the public and corporate sector," he added.

Najib gave assurance that money spent from public contribution would be accounted for and the Government promised to be transparent in its dealing and spending of the fund.

"We will only use the money given by the public to benefit the affected people. We know the victims are facing hardship and are trying to do our best to help them out," he assured.

Najib said the Government was co-ordinating between Bank Negara and the International Trade and Industry Ministry to help small businessmen, traders, small and medium scale enterprises (SME) and companies.

An announcement would be made later once the proposals had been fine tuned.


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