PETALING JAYA, Dec 25 – The government will increase the number rescue team members deploy more assets to the flood-hit states to rescue stranded victims and expedite the distribution of aid to flood evacuees. Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said, at the moment, all the relevant agencies, such as the Royal Malaysian Police and the Armed Forces which have suitable assets like boats and helicopters, were in the state of full preparedness.
“Besides, we will also ensure that the normal supply of aid for flood victims will be increased because based on the weather forecast by the Meteorological Department, we need to take additional precautionary measures. “This is being done by all the relevant agencies like the Women, Family and Community Development,” he told reporters after attending the Christmas Hi-Tea event organised by the Malaysian Christian Federation in Subang Jaya here today.
Muhyiddin said he would chair the meeting of the National Security Council on Dec 27 to discuss the matter and how the assets could be deployed. However, the deputy prime minister said the rescue team was facing difficulties to help flood victims due to the uncertain weather condition.
He said in certain flood-hit areas, the team could not even rescue stranded victims even by using a helicopter, and had to wait for the weather to improve before they could resume the operation. “Hospitals have also become evacuation centres…hence, increasing the burden of hospital management.
Besides, there is also a need to transfer patients to other hospitals. So, this may need more logistics depending on the weather. We have to tackle all these issues wisely,” he said. As such, he called on all flood victims to be patient while waiting for help as the rescue team and the National Security Council were trying their level best to help them.
Meanwhile, Muhyiddin, who is leaving for Kelantan tomorrow, said at present, the floods in Kelantan need not to be declared as being in the state of emergency. He said the state of emergency could only be declared if a critical situation occurred, such as when the electricity and water supply were completely cut off or when the number of flood victims reached hundreds of thousand of people.
“Emergency or not, we still need to take action to rescue the victims and that is what we are doing now,” he said. At the same time, the deputy prime minister also called on all quarters not to spread inaccurate information about flood situations or flood victims that would only create panic among the public. He said such an act would only worsen the situation and hamper the authorities’ efforts to rescue the victims as they would only act based on accurate information.