LUMUT: Fisherman Tan Chai Tiam gave a tired smile as he flicked through the wad of RM50 notes with his rough weathered fingers.
After counting about three times over, he told his friends sitting nearby that the he had received RM1,500.
Tan was among 39 fishermen in the Beruas parliamentary constituency who received a total of RM55,000 in relief aid from the Perak government.
Another 40 fishermen, whose applications for aid were being processed, were given RM400 each.
The money was handed to them by Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik, who is also the Beruas MP.
Tan, whose boat engine was damaged in the tsunami disaster on Dec 26, estimated repairs to cost in the region of RM2,000.
But he is relieved that some money had come his way.
“I am thankful,” he said at the Kampung Sungai Batu community hall in Pantai Remis near here on Sunday.
Dr Lim said the Government was doing its best to help Malaysians affected by the disaster apart from giving aid to other countries.
“Many local victims think that money is only going out to those in other countries and not to them but this is not true.
“As a good neighbour and a caring society, Malaysia is sending money and personnel to help other countries but we have enough funds for our people,” he said.
He urged locals not to turn the disaster into a moneymaking opportunity by making false applications for relief aid from the Government.
At the Manjung district office in Lumut yesterday, deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Kong Cho Ha, who is also Lumut MP, handed over a total of RM29,900 in relief aid to 31 fishermen from Lekir, Sitiawan and Lumut.