Malaysian PM announces financial aid for those who lost their homes in recent floods

Residents of Taman Sri Muda sit beside debris collected after recent floods in Shah Alam, Selangor, on Dec 27, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Friday (Dec 31) pledged further assistance including financial aid to victims of recent devastating floods in Malaysia

In his New Year address, Datuk Seri Ismail said each head of households affected by the recent floods has receive compassionate monetary assistance of RM1,000 (S$323) compared to RM500 previously under the Bantuan Wang Ihsan (BWI) initiative.

The effort has started since Dec 27.  

"This initiative will benefit over 45,000 households. The number who will receive this assistance can also increase once we are finished identifying those who were affected by the flood but did not move to temporary relief centres," news portal Malay Mail quoted Mr Ismail as saying.

"To date, 20,000 households have received the BWI assistance."

Malaysia is still in the midst of recovering and counting its losses after continuous rain caused by a tropical depression wreaked havoc two weeks ago, inundating large parts of the most developed state Selangor and several Pahang districts.

With the death toll at 48 and several more people still missing, this was the deadliest flooding in Malaysia’s history.

While monsoon flooding is an annual recurrence on the east coast, such large-scale flooding is rare in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and other states on the west coast.

At its peak, over 70,000 people were displaced during the floods, although that number has dropped drastically in the past week as flood waters dried up and clean-up works began in many of the affected areas.

Still, worries over large-scale flooding has not abated with the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) warning on that eight states are expected to experience continuous rain on Saturday. 

Mr Ismail said cash vouchers of RM500 each will also be issued to each family to purchase electrical appliances that was damaged in the floods. This scheme will take off in Jan 7.  

On top of that, the government has also agreed to give cash of RM2,500 to each affected family to purchase essential goods. 

Each affected victim will also be offered free car towing and repair service fees by national car manufacturers Proton and Perodua, in addition to a 50 per cent discount of spare parts replacement.  

Other companies are also offering free car towing services and a discount of at least 25 per cent on spare parts and repair fees at registered service centres.

"For owners of vehicles damaged by the floods, the government will also provide RM1,000 cash vouchers for the purpose of repairs and purchase of a new vehicle, including lorries, cars, motorcycles and others.

"Cash vouchers and discounts will commence starting January 2022," Malay Mail quoted Mr Ismail as saying.

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For homes affected by the floods, Mr Ismail said the government will provide cash assistance of up to RM5,000 per family for home improvement works. 

For homes which are totally destroyed, the government will assist up to RM56,000 for the affected house owner.

Mr Ismail said the government was committed to ensure that all the aid will be distributed to the victims as soon as possible. 

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