Training volunteers for rescue missions


Dr Sim (in white shirt) presenting flood victims aid to one of the recipients in Batu Kawah. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE / The Star

KUCHING: The state government’s State Security Unit will collaborate with Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) to set up a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in Batu Kawah to help flood victims.

Local Government Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian said the cooperation would see the national oil company providing assistance for acquisition of rescue equipment and relief aid.

The government, through the CERT programme, will organise and train public volunteers to carry out rescue mission while coordinating with the Civil Defence and Fire and Rescue Department in the event of flood in their respective areas.

“Petronas has agreed to help us setting up an emergency rescue unit in Batu Kawah as preparation for the upcoming monsoon season.

“We understand that the local authorities could not be everywhere and arrive immediately to the flood-hit areas. The CERT initiative is about empowering the local community to help themselves,” he told reporters after presenting the second phase RM500 aid to flood victims here.

A total of 688 affected households from about 20 villages in the Batu Kawah area received the monetary assistance. The victims were hit by flood during the rainy season between December and March this year.

Dr Sim, who is also Batu Kawah assemblyman, expressed dissatisfaction over the delay from Putrajaya to distribute the RM500 flood assistance.

He said that the first phase monetary aid was handed out before the state election in May.

There were a few affected households that had not received their assistance and hoped this could be sorted out by year-end, he added.

Dr Sim suggested that for the money be kept by the state treasury for easier distribution. He planned to bring the matter up with Putrajaya soon.

“We have no control over the matter because the fund is handled by the Federal Government. The remaining flood victims will receive their assistance in the third phase and we hope this would be distributed before the end of the year,” he added.

He advised those yet to receive their RM500 aid to remain patient while he sort the matter with the Federal Government.

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