"Total loss" households need more than RM1k cash aidTASNIM LOKMAN
SHAH ALAM - Labour unions welcomes government’s RM1.4 billion aid allocation but seeks increment for victims who suffered ‘total loss’ in damages due to the recent floods.
The allocation and services, under the Malaysian Family Flood Aid programme, they were comprehensive but just not enough for those who lost everything in the disaster.
UNI-Malaysia Labour Centre (UNI-MLC) president Datuk Mohamed Shafie BP Mammal said many whose homes were totally destroyed came from the bottom 40 per cent (B40).
“The RM1,000 flood aid is okay but only for an interim period.
“The government should consider giving RM5,000 as they suffered severe damages.
“The victims lost everything. They have children but no homes, vehicles and even clothes. The only way to recover is to be supported financially,” he told Sinar Daily.
He added that the government should provide temporary homes, either by constructing temporary lodging similar to what Germany did recently or place victims in hotels, while they fix their homes or move into new ones.
“During the pandemic, lots of hotels came forward to assist as a quarantine centre. They should also step up in times of need now.
“Somehow the spirit is just different and I feel the government must be more aggressive in finding a temporary solution as the victims recover,” he said, adding that the recovery process may take weeks if not months.
Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) acting president Mohd Effendy Abdul Ghani alluded similar sentiments, stating it vital to increase the RM1,000 aid as many were badly affected by the disaster.
“We urge the government to increase the allocation since many affected by the floods experienced total lost.
“Some houses were destroyed, while others were left the clothes on their backs.
“Many flood victims lost thousands of ringgit; basic household necessities had to be thrown out while cars basically drowned.
“We saw those in Hulu Langat had their whole homes swept away by strong currents on that fateful night (Dec 18).
“The government needs to think of a suitable amount by taking into account the needs of a household needs. The amount needed may not all be the same either.
“We understand the government cannot bare the cost of everything but cash aid would help ease their burden,” he said.