Malaysia floods: DPM orders deployment of more transportation assets

KOTA BARU - Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin flew into flood-ravaged Kelantan and Pahang and issued a directive for the deployment of more helicopters, boats and land vehicles to ensure that help reaches all the affected people.

He said due to the severity of the tragedy, the current transportation assets deployed were inadequate.

"The National Security Council will look into this. The helicopters and the boats that we are currently using may not be enough. The logistic facilities must be stepped up," he told reporters after visiting a flood relief centre at Sekolah Kebangsaan Pengkalan Chepa 1 here yesterday.

More than 100,000 flood victims have been evacuated in the country, including in the northern states of Kedah and Perlis and the west coast states of Perak and Johor.

Accompanying Muhyiddin in Kelantan were International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, Kelantan Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah and Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa.

Muhyiddin also ordered agencies to ensure that all evacuation centres had enough food and other supplies for one week instead of the current practice of three days.

This, he said, was to avert supply shortage and the need to make frequent deliveries to these centres.

"Increasing the stock will alleviate the need to make frequent deliveries, which can be hampered by the fast-flowing floodwaters and the bad weather," he said.

He also said that the NSC had been instructed to buy as many units of power bank as possible for the use of secretariat staff at the relief centres to maintain a constant communication link through smartphones.

Muhyiddin also directed that all evacuees be provided with enough clean water for drinking and that diesel be sent immediately to the centres where electricity was powered by generators.

He said that the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry would step up the supply of diesel to premises where there was a critical shortage, such as hospitals affected by the floods.

Muhyiddin also said that the relocation of patients from the flood-hit hospitals would be looked into urgently.

"Whatever the situation, we will handle it. The important thing is to save lives. No life should be lost through our negligence," he said.

In Pahang later, Muhyiddin attended a solat hajat session along with a 1,000-strong congregation at Al Makmur Mosque to seek God's compassion to ease sufferings due to the ravaging flood.

It was held after the Friday prayers and also attended by Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.

Muhyiddin was later briefed about the flood situation in the state.