The government has failed to see sufferings of flood victims caused by floods between December 2008 to February 2009 be properly looked into. The government was not action orientated and took too much sweat time to cope with disasters as until not many flood victims are yet to receive monetary aids or assistance from the government. Until now, I still receive complaints and queries from flood victims in my Batu Lintang Constituency about the assistance from the government to them. There is no reason why these money aids could only be handed out by Ministers and Barisan Nasional YBs alone, while these could also be done by Welfare Officers, Residents, District Officers and also by the Administrative Officers of the District Office.
It has been observed that the handouts were mostly to Barisan Nasional stronghold constituencies and handouts in Opposition areas were slow or not done at all. Otherwise, all those affected in Batu Lintang should have received their aids by now.
The slow action by the government to hand out these aids either showed the lackadaisical attitude of the government who could not understand the sufferings of the people or it could be that the government is at the verge of bankruptcy now and could not help its people.
People are also kept in the dark of the amount of money that had been handed out to victims and also the amount of money spent in rescue and flood management operations. During the recent DUN sitting, except, for a sum of RM3 million for food, shelter and other necessities, money spent in rescue and flood management was also not disclosed at all and the funds could have been abused.
To those flood victims who had not received any aids, I hereby advise you all to see the District Officers in your district and the local authority offices to get information and seek relief aids from them. For information, the government has allocated four types of flood relief assistance as follows:-
- Assistance for evacuees to evacuation centers, at the rate of RM500 per family;
- Assistance for flood victims who for some valid reasons were unable to move to evacuation centers, at the rate of RM300 per family;
- Assistance for farmers whose farms and animals were destroyed by the flood, at the rate of RM1,000 per family; and
- Assistance for those whose houses were totally destroyed shall be given RM3,000 per family.
The state government needs RM346 million to build damaged infrastructures caused by the recent floods, and although a sum of about RM200 million has been allocated, we are all still kept in the dark as to how and where the money has or will be spent. It was also not correct for the government to keep us in the dark the total sums of money that has been pumped in for flood victims and for repairs of infrastructures damaged by recent floods. Since the money involved was a huge sum, all expenditures should be audited by a reputable accountant firm and the report should like the PKFZ Report, be made available to public and for public viewing. This is to ensure accountability and transparency in spending people’s money by the government.