Bi-partisan approach needed in dealing with future flood disasters, says Abdul Latiff

KUALA LUMPUR: A more bi-partisan approach will be taken to deal with future flood disasters following the recent deadly and unprecedented floods, said Datuk Abdul Latiff Ahmad (pic).

The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of special function said this was among steps to be taken following the one-day Dewan Rakyat special sitting to debate the recent year-end floods.

"We will take all the views raised by MPs and as promised by the Prime Minister, he will call for a committee (to be set up) to evaluate all the proposals.

"As such, current and future disaster management will be done in a more bi-partisan manner," he said when wrapping up the government's response on issues raised during debates in Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (Jan 20).

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob informed the House that according to police figures, 55 fatalities were recorded due to the unusual floods involving 40 men, 12 women, two boys and one girl, while two more victims are reported to be missing.

The House was also informed that more than RM2bil in various forms of aid would be channelled to flood victims.

The year-end floods were also responsible for the disruption on national output valued at between RM4bil and RM8bil.

Meanwhile, a heated exchange ensued between Abdul Latiff and several Opposition MPs who asked for more details of his announcement.

Gobind Singh Deo (PH-Puchong) wanted to know what was being done to improve the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) instead of skirting the issue.

"Get to the point Mr Minister.

"What are you going to do to ensure that this will not happen again," he said, in reference to Abdul Latiff being minister in charge of Nadma.

Several MPs had earlier questioned delays in response and relief efforts.

Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN-Pasir Salak) stood up to defend Abdul Latiff.

"The Minister is trying to answer the question but he is being interrupted and bullied by these MPs," he complained to Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon.

On a separate matter, Abdul Latiff told RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong) that efforts are still underway to locate the remains of two missing flood victims.

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