Malaysian government speeds up flood recovery efforts

Malaysian government speeds up flood recovery efforts
Useful equipment: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak listening to Dr Huang's briefing on the flood relief aid. With them is Dr Ahmad Zahid (left).

KUALA LUMPUR - Flood victims will not have to wait too long before their lives return to normal as the Government speeds up recovery and reconstruction work.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said instructions had been given to start rebuilding homes for those who own land while a crash programme was in place to build temporary units to house the displaced.

"It won't be long for things to return to normal. For instance, we have 1,000 units of low-cost houses ready for occupancy in Gua Musang and the affected families can move in when we are done compiling the list.

"The Government is committed to assisting those affected by the floods and helping them rebuild their lives," he said after receiving flood relief aid from China.

Najib was dismissing claims that it would take up to two years for things to be normal in states severely affected by floodwaters, particularly in Kelantan.

On whether there was a need for the administration to re-look at or restructure Budget 2015 due to additional expenses for aid and recovery efforts in flood-hit states, the Prime Minister said he would issue a statement on the matter next week.

He added that the Government had not put a final number on recovery efforts because the cost was still being tabulated.

Najib also thanked the Chinese government and its people for their helping hand in Malaysia's time of need.

"On behalf of the Government and Malaysians, I would like to extend my deepest appreciation for China's kind gesture and for providing us with assistance," he said.

Apart from 2,950 tents, 230 generator sets, 400 water pumps, 45 hoses and 60 water purification machines, the Chinese government also agreed to build 400 temporary houses.

Also at the presentation ceremony were Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Chinese ambassador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang.

Dr Huang expressed sympathy on behalf of the Chinese government and its people for the flood victims, saying: "China's donation is a token of friendship.

"Our relationship is so strong that we should not leave Malaysia alone to combat such a serious flood, the worst since 1971."

He said his government would do more should Malaysia need further assistance, adding that China had lessons and experience from natural disasters which could be shared.

Dr Huang visited Kelantan twice, the latest on Sunday to distribute school uniforms and books to Chinese schools.

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