Warisan : Deploy Army To Assist Flood Victims

KOTA KINABALU : Parti Warisan today urged the Federal Government, National Security Council (MKN) and the Prime Minister, Ismail Sabri to instruct the Malaysian Armed Forces and other auxiliaries such as Reg. 507 Wataniah, RELA and JPAM to assist in the cleaning up and delivery of much needed food and aid to flood affected areas in Sabah.

The party’s Deputy President, Datuk Darell Leiking said that most of the cleaning up work and delivery of aid to these areas in Sabah are currently conducted by volunteers from political parties, NGOs and affected villagers themselves but they can only do so much because clearing the thick flood of mud required laborious effort and manpower.

“As the MP of Penampang, I wish to extend my great appreciation to all the NGOs and associations who came immediately to assist the villagers in Kg. Sugud and Kg. Maang either to deliver the much-needed food, bottled water and other essential items such as clothing and in some cases, medication – this spirit of volunteerism, charity and helping each other during a calamity has really touched my heart and only God will be able to repay all these kind-hearted souls.

Volunteers from Warisan have also been helping flood victims in Kg. Sugud and Kg. Maang since Friday last week and to date, there is still a lot of cleaning up to do with tonnes of mud needing to be cleared – some donors paid for backhoes to assist our volunteers but in some places, the machine cannot be used so they (the volunteers) will have to slug it out by scooping and carrying the mud manually.

As volunteers who never had proper physical training to enable them to continuously do labourious work for long hours, many inevitably suffered fatigue and cramps due to the sheer magnitude of work to be done – the spirit and morale to help remains high but over time, our volunteers will not be able to sustain due to the physical demands required.

Hence, I implore the National Security Council (MKN) and Prime Minister to effect the instruction for the deployment of Army from Lok Kawi Camp and Wataniah from Bukit Pewira to assist in cleaning up the mud flood, delivery of food and render assistance with their terrain army trucks, reinforcement of river banks with sand bags and repair / rebuilding of damaged / destroyed houses not only in these two villages but other areas affected by the flood,” he said in a statement today.

He also said while the immediate priority is to clean up the mud, there is also an urgency for both the Local Authorities and State Government to find a solution to assist the villagers in repairing damaged and destroyed houses.

“What I and Warisan President, Shafie Apdal saw in Kg. Sugud was beyond our imagination and is an unprecedented tragedy where almost an entire village is inundated with mud and while the GRS-led State Government and even some of its Ministers may have the impression that it is the usual case of flooding, it is not!

Hence, there should be both temporary and permanent solutions for the tragedy – for the time being, the State Government could consider to provide wooden planks and zinc sheets free of charge for the purpose of repairing or rebuilding the damaged or destroyed houses with the army or the auxillary security forces helping to do the work.

In the meantime, the Welfare Department should be mobilised to affected villages and collect details of those who need immediate assistance because it is insensitive and inhumane to expect the victims to go to the Department’s office and fill in their applications.

The GRS-led State Government must be sensitive to the predicament faced by the villagers and try to be accomodating as best as possible,” he said.