Floods: Prepared for a second wave


HULU LANGAT: A special task force has been set up in preparation for a possible second wave of floods in the wake of continuous rain in certain parts of the country from today, says the Prime Minister.

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government has agreed to set up the task force, which would also oversee post-flood recovery activities.

The task force will be chaired by Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali who last week ordered senior heads of department on year-end holiday to be back at work.

“This post-flood work needs proper coordination as I don’t want any delay in the implementation process, including in providing assistance to flood victims.

“We also need to be prepared for the second wave of floods, if it happens,” Ismail Sabri told reporters yesterday after visiting the areas in Hulu Langat affected by floods, including Taman Sri Nanding and Kampung Dusun Tua where cleaning work was in progress.

Members of the task force, he added, would comprise relevant agencies including the Armed Forces, and would hold its first meeting as early as today.

Hands-on leadership: Ismail Sabri together with Armed Forces officers during a clean-up in Taman Nanding, Hulu Langat. — BernamaHands-on leadership: Ismail Sabri together with Armed Forces officers during a clean-up in Taman Nanding, Hulu Langat. — Bernama

Among the matters to be discussed and decided by the task force would be on the coordination in the implementation of processes such as the cleaning of affected houses and buildings, as well as the mechanism in ensuring the quick dispensation of flood aid, Bantuan Wang Ihsan, to the victims.

“I also call on the relevant agencies and departments that manage cash assistance to simplify the process and eliminate the bureaucratic red tape.

“They (flood victims) are already in hardship, do not inconvenience them,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama.

The task force, said Ismail Sabri, would also find solutions for the management of solid waste as a result of the destruction caused by floods.

The government, through the Environment and Water Ministry, has provided a mobile incinerator that could dispose of solid waste in-situ without smoke and pollution, he added.

Ismail Sabri said several Cabinet ministers who were on holiday overseas had also cancelled their leave and returned home.

“Two or three of them are back. They had made plans to travel abroad much earlier prior to the floods and before the directive (on leave cancellation) was issued.

“I don’t want to mention names but they have returned and I have advised them to self-quarantine first for safety. They will be out on Monday or Tuesday,” he said.

Ismail Sabri said data was still being collected on the total losses incurred in the floods in Selangor.

“We are still in the process of cleaning up, still studying (losses). Data is being collected. There will be an economic impact, but we do not know to what extent and we will wait for a report from the relevant ministry,” he said, expressing his gratitude to volunteers, civil groups, and members of the security forces as well as agencies involved in post-flood activities throughout the country.

“Our priority is to speed up the cleaning of their houses so that they (victims) can return home. If we do it together, this process will be faster.”

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