Penang govt in state of readiness to provide disaster relief


THE Penang government is ready for any eventualities in terms of providing flood disaster relief in view of the massive floods that unexpectedly hit several states in the country.


State Welfare and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said the state now has prepared over 35 evacuation centres across five districts and has some 70 boats on standby should Penang get hit by continuous heavy rain that can cause unexpected floods.

State Welfare and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh

“We will also open up more evacuation centres depending on the situation. But as of now, we have over 35 active evacuation centres.


“Meanwhile, 70 boats have already been provided to the voluntary fire fighting squads on the island and mainland.


“They can now put the assets to good use should the need arises, especially during the rescue mission.


“The district offices also had conducted workshops on the compliance of Covid-19 standard operating procedures to be applied to the evacuation centres.


“In short, we have taken the necessary preparations although Penang is not expected to face the massive floods like in Selangor,” Phee told Buletin Mutiara during an interview session at his office in Komtar today.


Heavy rains since Friday (Dec 17) have caused several states such as Selangor and Negeri Sembilan to experience massive floods.


According to Phee, the Penang government also has a close collaboration with various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the state through PgCare Alliance that could assist during any emergency.


“This includes NGOs such as Penang Buddhist Tzu Chi Merits Society Malaysia, One Hope Charity and Welfare and other voluntary groups that would assist the state in any eventualities involving the welfare, security and rescue operations.


“The PgCare Alliance is the fruit of the collaboration between the Penang government and the NGOs.


“The alliance mainly focuses on four key areas, namely mental health, job, food and financial consultation,” he added.


Phee said after experiencing one of the major floods in 2017, the state government has been well-trained in coordinating and handling this kind of situation.


“We also urge the people to stay alert and report immediately to the local authorities if there are risks of floods, such as clogging of drainage systems in their area,” he said.


While the state government has made the necessary preparations in view of the heavy rains in the past few days, Phee also urged Penangites to be prepared as well.


“They should also be prepared by storing some food, clothes and medicine that can be used during any emergency.


“With this, it can increase their survival rate while waiting for the rescue team to arrive,” Phee added.

Story by Riadz Akmal
Pix by Chan Kok Kuan