King gets briefed on north-east monsoon forecast, flood preparations

AMPANG: The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah paid an official visit to the National Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre of the Department of the Irrigation and Drainage in Ampang today at 10am Thursday (Oct 6).

His Majesty was accompanied by Environment and Water Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and Chief Secretary Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali.

The King was briefed on the forecast of the north-east monsoon and preparation of floods at the national level by the Environment and Water Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Zaini Ujang, Malaysian Meteorological Department director-general Muhammad Helmi Abdullah and Irrigation and Drainage Department (DID) director-general Datuk Dr Md Nasir Md Noh.

The two-hour royal visit also included a briefing by Khairy on the current national Covid-19 situation and preparations by the Health Ministry for the floods.

After the briefing, Tuan Ibrahim stated that the King was satisfied with the preparedness by the government at the national level, but asked that there be more early warning systems and quicker assistance for those affected by the possible floods during the north-east monsoon.

"His Majesty was satisfied with the preparedness level of the ministry. He had requested for this briefing to see for himself the forecasting of the north-east monsoon by the Meteorological Department.

"The King stated that there should be more focus on the early warning system. We informed His Majesty that we have increased the facilities for early warning systems such as sirens and that we will make sure that assistance reaches the flood victims quicker," said Tuan Ibrahim.

The Health Minister said that the King was also informed of the current public health situation and health facilities available during the north-east monsoon in places prone to floods.

"I have briefed the King on the situation of public health with regard to Covid-19 and the preparations of health facilities at flood evacuation centers.

"I also informed His Majesty on the preparations at existing hospitals and clinics on what we will be doing should floods occur. His Majesty was satisfied by the preparedness level so far," said Khairy.

Both ministers played down that the briefing was for pending snap polls.

"His Majesty is very concerned for the people's well-being," said Khairy.

The visit came hours before the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is due to have a royal audience with the King.

Talks of a possible dissolution of the Parliament had been making the rounds and it was speculated that the Prime Minister would be advising the King for a dissolution.

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