Scheme to help flood-hit Penangites bounce back

All over Penang, car wash operators and motor workshops are being kept busy washing and fixing vehicles caught in the islandwide floods last weekend.
All over Penang, car wash operators and motor workshops are being kept busy washing and fixing vehicles caught in the islandwide floods last weekend.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

State government announces $32m worth of programmes for households and businesses

GEORGETOWN • The Penang state government has announced a series of programmes costing RM100 million (S$32.4 million) to help flood victims.

Called Bangkit Pulau Pinang (Penang Bounces Back), Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng made the special announcement at yesterday's state legislative assembly meeting.

Meanwhile, motor workshops and car wash operators in the state are facing a different kind of deluge. The workshops are being flooded with thousands of cars damaged after Penang's worst flooding last weekend, while car wash centres are inundated with motorists who want to get rid of the mud and sludge in their vehicles.

In other parts of the state, home and shop owners are busy cleaning up their premises and throwing away damaged items.

The heavy rains yesterday moved south, with several parts of Johor Baru, capital of Malaysia's southernmost state of Johor, flooded.

In Penang, Mr Lim said 100,000 households and businesses affected by the disaster will benefit from the aid. "The fund will be used to assist flood victims to return to their normal lives, and to rebuild and restore Penang," he said.

Half of the RM100 million is expected to be spent on a one-off aid package of RM500 each for households and businesses.

The allocation does not include donations received from the public.

A total of 3,213 flood victims from 802 families were still sheltering at 26 relief centres as of yesterday morning, Bernama news agency reported.

Over at a motor workshop, mechanic Ng Chee Lun said: "The cars have to be fully washed, inside and out, before we can look at the engines."

He said it would take about two weeks to fully repair a car, adding that the cost could easily come up to RM1,000 for minor repairs.

There were about 30 cars waiting to be fixed yesterday and he is not accepting any more.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2017, with the headline 'Scheme to help flood-hit Penangites bounce back'. Print Edition | Subscribe