System overhaul mulled

Ready to roll: Armizan (seated third from left) with participants at the closing ceremony of Randex 2023. —ART CHEN/The Star

PUTRAJAYA: A new Act focusing on a holistic approach to national disaster management is being mulled, says Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah, Sarawak, and Special Affairs) mentioned that engagements are also taking place to review National Security Council (NSC) Directive No. 20.

“The National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) is engaged in reviewing Directive No. 20 while gradually introducing a disaster risk reduction policy. “If there is a need, we will also look into establishing a specific Act on national disaster management to establish a complete legal framework,” he said after attending the closing ceremony of the Rakan Nadma Disaster Emergency Simulation Exercise (Randex) 2023 here yesterday.

NSC Directive No. 20 relates to national disaster management policies and mechanisms that spell out the roles and responsibilities of each disaster management committee at every level.

Separately, Armizan said all financial needs for disaster management are obtained through the National Disaster Consolidated Fund operated by Nadma.

During the northeast monsoon from November 2022 to March this year, Armizan said as much as RM500mil worth of aid was channelled.

“This fund also supports states and agencies engaged in flood preparation efforts, including repairs to temporary relief centres,” he said.

“States themselves identify areas in need of repairs, and we simply facilitate the allocation process.”

Armizan said Nadma is also appealing for more funds in the upcoming Budget 2024.

He was confident that there would be additional allocations for the National Disaster Consolidated Fund.

“The government does not compromise when it comes to direct aid for disaster victims,” he added.

On Randex 2023, Armizan said it is a joint initiative by Nadma and the TM Foundation. Its aim is to familiarise participants with humanitarian concepts and ensure the readiness of NGOs and volunteers for humanitarian missions as required.

Its approach is based on the country’s frontliners’ previous experiences during the year-end floods in 2021, as well as humanitarian missions after the earthquakes in Turkiye and Syria.

The three-day programme saw participants being involved in various disaster simulations.

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