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Govt formulating policy to better manage disaster

Publish date: Thu, 30 Nov 2023, 01:26 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is in the process of formulating a disaster risk reduction policy and considering the enactment of specific legislation to enhance the nation's capabilities in managing disasters, the Dewan Rakyat heard today.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Sabah, Sarawak Affairs and Special Tasks) Datuk Armizan Ali said various engagement sessions with related parties, including stakeholders and lawmakers will be made once the proposal is approved by the cabinet.

Armizan added that while the current model of disaster risks used by the country was adopted based on the United Nations Officer for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), further improvements could be made to manage disasters, such as floods, in the country.

"144 countries adopt the same model of UNDRR (in managing disaster), however, further improvements can be made as we face floods every year.

"And once it has been approved by the cabinet, the government will carry out various engagements and we hope that fellow members of parliament can support to ensure necessary preparations and mechanisms (can be established) in the future," he said during minister's question time in Dewan Rakyat, today.

Armizan added that the policy and act was in tandem with the review of the National Security Council's directive No 19 and No 20.

He said this in response to supplementary questions by Datuk Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff (PN-Rantau Panjang) on the detailed plan to establish disaster relief centres as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

At the same time, Armizan added that nine locations have been identified for the establishment of permanent disaster relief centres, nationwide.

He added that the locations were also determined by state disaster management committees, where some RM45 million had been allocated by the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) for the pilot project of the centres.

"The government will not until next year (to commence the pilot project). At the same time, the designs and specifications for the centres are being carried out by the Public Works Department," he said.

Meanwhile, on the current flood situation, Armizan said that 123 families comprising 426 victims have been placed at five temporary relief centres in four districts across Kelantan (317 victims), Terengganu (22) and Pahang (87) as of 6am, today.

He added that 7,684 victims cumulatively have been placed at temporary relief centres since the beginning of the flood on Nov 11.

"This involves 49 relief centres across 12 districts in Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis, Selangor and Terengganu."

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