KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 — DAP’s Lim Guan Eng asked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today to explain why logging has been allowed to resume in states such as Pahang that were still recovering from the recent floods.
In a special parliamentary meeting to discuss the floods, the former finance minister said such activities should be halted for remedial work and flood mitigation efforts to be completed.
“Large scale logging activities in Pahang caused the flooding but the authorities are acting as though they don’t see these huge logs floating in the flood waters.
“Now these logging activities have resumed as though no floods happened. Is the prime minister from Pahang not aware of this?” Lim asked in Parliament today.
Lim said RM450 million was allocated in Budget 2022 to conserve the environment and preserve its biodiversity, and asked the PM to reconcile this with continued mass logging in the country.
“The ministers involved in this also look lost especially when one minister is saying things like ‘humans don’t kill Orang Utans, it is Orang Utans that can kill humans,’ and that they are not an endangered species,” he said, referring to a clip of Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin making such remarks.
Lim then asked that the federal government decentralise flood disaster mitigation efforts and allow the states to play a bigger role.
He said the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) should be placed under the state governments so they can be better prepared to know the layout of the land better than a centralised agency.
“It’ll be best if Nadma is placed under the states’ control as they know best how to handle flood relief efforts in real-time rather than being like a ‘remote control’ and trying to handle the floods from thousands of kilometres away.
“DAP suggest an RM100 million allocation for this or 20 per cent of the states’ tax collection allocated for these efforts under the states. This means the states must be responsible for the drainages, disaster aid, rescue and recovery as well as clean up efforts,” Lim said in Parliament today.
“The states should also be in charge of helping the victims return to normalcy with the necessary cash aid.”
Lim urged the government to help those who affected by the floods with more cash aid as the RM2 billion announced by Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz coupled with RM1,000 for each household would not be enough to repair houses, cars, loss of jobs and more.
The MP for Bagan also said the government should extend the loan moratorium that ends in February for another six months.
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