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Friday December 22, 2006

Supply aid, stores urged Najib


KLUANG: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has appealed to department stores to provide government agencies and departments involved in flood relief with food and other necessities such as mats and blankets. 

“If they approach you, please help. We will reimburse the expenses later,” the Deputy Prime Minister said after visiting relief centres in Kota Tinggi, Segamat and Muar by helicopter with Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman. 

The floods in Johor have worsened, with 50,000 people now placed in 277 relief centres.  

VIP VISITOR: Najib talking to Halimah Mat Said, 78, during his visit to a relief centre in Taman Kota Jaya in Kota Tinggi yesterday. — Bernamapic
Najib called for calm, saying that supply of food and necessities would be flown in to areas cut off by the floods. 

“I have asked the Armed Forces to increase the number of assets to aid flood relief,” he said.  

“At the moment, there are 80 boats available and we plan to bring in more boats from other states. 

“We have 11 helicopters and if we add to the ones operated by the police and the Fire and Rescue Department, we have more than 16 in Johor alone. 

“If any area is cut off, we can use them to send in food supplies.”  

Najib reiterated that the Federal Government was ready to increase the allocation for flood relief. 

Najib said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi expressed his sadness over the flood situation and asked the Federal and state agencies to help the people. Abdullah had conveyed the message to Najib over the phone. 

Abdullah is currently in Venezuela. 

“The situation today has stabilised and supplies have been sent (to relief centres). Maybe there are some shortcomings here and there, but generally I am satisfied with the management of the situation, he said. 

Abdul Ghani said all the dams in the state had reached full capacity, while the Machap and Sembrong dams were overflowing. 

“But we have no plan to release the water from the dams as it will only worsen the flooding downstream,” he said.  

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