Najib: RM1.5b needed to
rebuild lives of 'extraordinary' flood victims
29/01/2007 The Sun R.Manirajan
PUTRAJAYA (Jan 29, 2007): The government has to spend a staggering RM1.5
billion to make good the damage from the extraordinary floods in several
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said aside from repairs
to infrastructure, the amount would include financial aid and cash grants to
the victims to help them rebuild their lives.
Speaking to reporters after chairing a National Disaster Managment and
Relief Committee meeting here today, Najib said the amount included the
RM350 million approved by the cabinet at the weekly meeting last Wednesday
(Jan 24) to the Public Works Department for infrastructure repairs.
RM137 million to the Rural and
Regional Development Ministry to repair roads in rural areas;
RM102 million to the Education
Ministry to repair and buy new equipment for affected schools;
financial aid to the first and
second wave of flood victims at RM200 each per flood event and
RM500 as a one-off payment for
damaged household electrical equipment; and
RM1,000 to RM3,000 to victims
whose houses were damaged.
Najib said the Drainage and
Irrigation Department would be submitting its proposal and cost on repair
work on rivers and drains that need to be done as soon as possible.
As for houses that are totally damaged by the floods, he said Syarikat
Perumahan Negara would rebuild these houses either in the affected areas or
on land owned by the flood victims.
"There are about 45 houses totally damaged by the recent floods and there
are also some houses which are no longer habitable. For the non-livable
houses, the government will look into the cost first before deciding
The first wave of floods in December affected about 148,000 people while the
second wave earlier this month affected some 134,000 people.
Victims are still reeling from the aftermath of the natural disaster, and on
the ground, the government is still working to ensure that aid reaches them
as quickly - and as fairly - as possible.
As for the money collected from the corporate sector and the public for the
flood victims, Najib said some the funds would be used to rebuild the
He assured that "the government will give a total account of this and we
will be transparent about it".
He said the total amount of losses to be borne by the government did not
include assistance to the private and commercial sectors as Bank Negara,
through the banks, would be providing the necessary help.
Najib also said as the flood problem is extraordinary, the National Disaster
Management and Relief Committee would be expanded and district officers
would be given more powers, like coordinating relief work.
"During the flood situation, the district officers must hold meetings
everyday and work hand in hand with Members of Parliament and state
assemblymen to help flood victims, by coordinating proper relief work and
assistance. This includes working with non-governmental organisations," he