Outpouring Of Malaysian Solidarity For Flood Victims

Last update: 06/01/2015

By Salbiah Said

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 (Bernama) -- The disastrous floods in the east coast states and Perak last month have triggered an outpouring of solidarity among Malaysians from all walks of life.

The worst flooding in more than a decade has forced more than 100,000 from their homes.

Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) has estimated its losses at almost RM250 million due to the damage to its railway infrastructure by the recent floods in the east coast states.

Damage to government-owned public property in flood-stricken Kelantan is estimated at RM932.4 million, while RM132 million are needed to repair roads in Terengganu damaged by the floods.

The federal government has allocated RM96 million to repair 93 hillslopes that collapsed along federal roads due to the floods in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Perak.

Some 5,000 Armed Forces personnel were deployed to help in the post-flood clean-up, while 1,960 electricity substations in Kelantan had to shut down due to floods.

Aid Steadily Growing

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who was overseas and received constant updates on the flood situation, returned home ahead of schedule as flood conditions worsened.

"I see so much destruction and it is very depressing and so sad," he said, adding that the government would take several measures to assist the flood victims in the Gua Musang and Kuala Krai districts.

The Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said Monday, the floods that have inundated the four states for the past three weeks have claimed 23 lives, while three are reported missing.

Thanks to the support and generosity of Malaysians, aid has been steadily growing and is currently being distributed to those affected by the floods.

At the Royal Malaysian Air Force base in Subang, Malaysians are volunteering by forming human chains to stock up food, water, clothes and essentials for them to be flown over to flood-hit states.

At the Subang airport, donations in boxes are stacked up and ready to be flown out.

The Best In Malaysians

The floods have brought out the best in Malaysians.
In Melaka, while most youths prefer to only read and post their comments on the floods in the social media, a group of 14 youths is using the channel to collect donations for flood victims.

Hermy Rahim and 13 others who are neither VIPs, celebrities nor representing any associations or non-governmental organisations, initiated the donation collection on their own as caring individuals, without assistance from any quarters.

"We are not VIPs and have no vested interest. We are just a group of friends who feel that we should not just watch the sufferings of the flood victims, but to do something to help them," Hermy, 27, told Bernama here.

Using Twitter, under the account @twt_melaka, they spread the information on their donation collection for flood victims, which they held at the Tesco and Mydin supermarkets here on Dec 24 and 25.

Their initiative became viral on the social media, not only on Twitter, but also on Whatsapp and Facebook.

Ikhlas-Bernama Mission

The Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneurs Organisation of Malaysia (Ikhlas) and Bernama TV will supply 100 tonnes of food and basic supplies to flood victims in the east coast in stages.

Ikhlas president Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah said 50 volunteers left for Pahang Monday to bring 20 tonnes of food and items for the first phase.

"The supply will be distributed to more than 2,000 families in Kuala Krau who still remain in several temporary relief centres.

"Besides that, we will also help clean up schools, mosques and suraus in the area," he told reporters at the launch of the Ikhlas-Bernama TV Flood Aid Mission here Monday. The mission is also scheduled to visit Kelantan and Terengganu after Pahang.

On Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin despatched flood relief volunteers' convoy to the worst flood affected state of Kelantan.

Volunteers Despatched

The six-day mission to Kelantan will carry out cleaning works on locations affected by the floods such as the mosques, hospitals, schools and public premises.

This is an initiative by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) involving 5,000 members of the PMO Club, together with other government officials's clubs and several non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

The mission will move in stages with the first series beginning Monday until Jan 11 moving to Kelantan involving 1,500 volunteers, followed by missions to the other states in the subsequent series to provide post-floods community services.

"This represents a major trust and task that had to be borne together. We will not neglect them (flood victims). We must get down to the villages and help them to return to normal," said Muhyiddin, who is also chairman of the National Disaster Management Committee in his speech.