PM: Govt to help flood victims rebuild homes and lives with more aid initiatives

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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is pictured praying at the Putra Mosque in Putrajaya December 31, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is pictured praying at the Putra Mosque in Putrajaya December 31, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — On the eve of 2022, Putrajaya today has committed to providing more assistance to those affected by the recent flood emergency with the announcement of several initiatives to help the rakyat bounce back from the disaster.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, in his special New Year’s address to the nation, said that he recognises that the predicament of flood victims in the coming months will be challenging, and pledged to offer further assistance that can be delivered promptly to those in need of it.

“As we approach the end of 2021, Keluarga Malaysia was tested with an unprecedented flood, especially in Selangor, Pahang, Negri Sembilan and other states. This disaster did not just destroy property; it took lives. I am deeply saddened by the 48 deaths from the flood, and I convey my deepest condolences to their families.

“Despite the tragedy and sadness brought by floods, the spirit of Keluarga Malaysia is still felt among the people, regardless of race, religion and standing,” he said in his speech.

He said that the government has decided to increase the Bantuan Wang Ihsan (BWI) initiative, from RM500 to RM1,000 to each household head, adding that this has already been provided on December 27, 10 days after the flooding began.

“This initiative will benefit over 45,000 households. The number who will receive this assistance can also increase once we are finished identifying those who were affected by the flood but did not move to temporary relief centres (PPS).

“To date, 20,000 households have received the BWI assistance,” he said.

A RM500 cash voucher for the purchase of electrical goods will also be issued to flood-affected families to replace electrical appliances damaged by the flooding will also be provided, said Ismail Sabri, adding that purchases can be made on premises or e-commerce platforms approved by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources beginning January 7, 2022.

He said that vehicle assistance will also be provided by automakers, with Malaysian-built Perodua and Proton offering free towing and overhaul services, as well as a 50 per cent discount on spare parts.

He added that other companies will also provide free towing services and a discount of at least 25 per cent on parts and overhaul services at registered service centres.

“For owners of vehicles damaged by the floods, the government will also provide RM1,000 cash vouchers for the purpose of repairs and purchase of a new vehicle, including lorries, cars, motorcycles and others.

“Cash vouchers and discounts will commence starting January 2022,” he said.

Ismail Sabri said that the government will also provide cash assistance of up to RM5,000 per family for home improvements to flood victims who have suffered non-serious damage.

He said that for serious damage, the government itself would manage the house overhaul at a cost of up to RM15,000, while for homes that were destroyed by the floods, the government will assist up to RM56,000 to build a new home.

He said that the government has also agreed to provide RM2,500 cash specifically for the purchase of essential goods for those who suffered damages to goods due to the floods.

“The total cash award can be up to RM10,000 per household. This is the government’s effort to reduce the burden of the rakyat without them having to withdraw their EPF savings.

“With this effort, contributors can maintain their savings and enjoy an annual dividend of around 5 per cent and start planning for their future after retirement,” he said.

Malaysia this month was hit by one of the worst floods ever recorded in the nation's history.

To date, 48 people have died with thousands of people displaced from their homes, seeking shelter in PPSs’ set up by the government.

Clean-up work has already begun in Selangor, where the flooding has relatively dissipated, but Malaysia’s eastern states are currently taking a heavy hit from the storm that caused the flood.

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