Saturday, January 22, 2022

Selangor MB’s ‘Monday’ announcement too far away for desperate flood victims

They say many are in immediate need of the RM1,000 cash aid promised by the government.

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Selangor residents desperate for the flood aid promised by the government say time is running out as they sift through what remains of their belongings after the unprecedented torrents that devastated their neighbourhoods after days of continuous heavy rain.

Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari had said that the process would be facilitated for flood victims who were promised RM1,000, with a further announcement to be made on Monday.

But Ili Fathirul who lives in Batu 15, Hulu Langat, said the delivery of the cash aid was taking too long.

“To make an announcement on Monday just to finalise the process of giving the cash aid is way too late, especially for those who are in need of the money,” she told MalaysiaNow.

“We are villagers. Some who live here are poor, and they have lost almost everything.”

Bags of garbage lie outside a house in Hulu Langat, as residents salvage what they can of their belongings and throw away what cannot be saved.

Ili is among those whose homes were completely wrecked by the floods. All she was able to save was her television and dining table. Everything else had to be thrown away.

She said it would help if representatives from the government visited the affected areas to distribute the cash by hand instead of asking the flood victims to go to the bank or other similar centres.

“Many of us have lost our cars and motorcycles and it’s hard for us to move around,” she said.

“We are lucky that many people from the outside have been coming to help us.”

Ahmad Zambri who works at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) also suffered losses due to the flood.

He agreed that the government should send representatives to the villages in Hulu Langat to deliver the cash aid.

“This would ease the burden of the flood victims,” he said.

“As a civil worker myself, I understand that the process takes a long time. But we can try to make it easy for the victims as they don’t have the time or means to move around.”

Another resident, Noraini, said she was now old and dependent on her daughter to help her move around.

She said a week was too long to wait for help to arrive.

“I hope any kind of aid reaches us faster because we need it,” she said.

“Most of us have lost almost everything. We have to buy a lot of things to replace what we lost, especially basic necessities like food and cleaning supplies.”

The residents of Hulu Langat are among many who say that the process of obtaining the cash aid is too complicated as they need to go through many agencies in order to receive the money.

Some have also complained on social media after being told that they need to furnish electricity or water bills as proof of their residence at the address in question.

UKM pro vice-chancellor Hanafiah Harunarashid who has been sending help to the flood victims in Hulu Langat with his team of volunteers since early this morning said most were in need of cleaning supplies, pillows and blankets as well as something to sleep on.

“People are scared of leaving their homes unattended,” he said. “Most choose to stay where they are but they don’t have pillows or blankets.”

Other places still have no water supply. “Even if they do, it is very slow as a lot of people are using water to clean their houses,” Hanafiah said.

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