KUCHING: A Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will be set up in Batu Kawah to handle flood situations, Local Government Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian disclosed.
He said it would be set up by the State Security Unit in collaboration with Petronas.
“Petronas has agreed to set up a CERT here in Batu Kawa which also includes facilities and logistics, which will be participated by local community volunteers, Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) and Civil Defence Force (APM).
“I hope that we would never get a flood, but on the other hand I have no control over the weather. This is part of the early preparation to face the rainy season,” he told reporters after presenting the second phase of flood relief aid to 688 heads of households within the Batu Kawah and Batu Kitang constituency at Stapok Community Hall here yesterday.
Being a flood-prone area, he said Batu Kawah, especially its low-lying areas, was always flooded every year.
On the flood relief aid, the Batu Kawah assemblyman was dismayed that it took the authorities in Putra Jaya so long to disburse it.
“I wish the money is parked in the State Treasury, then we will be giving out rather than bringing this matter up in Parliament and undergo procedures in Putra Jaya, only then the money will come down.
“All this time it is the federal government agencies which are slowing us down and it is unfair to the people in Sarawak. Ultimately, the best way is to park the money with the State Treasury, then everything would be very fast.”
He assured that he would continue to follow up with Putra Jaya and in Parliament to fight for this matter.
He hoped that the aid could ease the burden of the flood victims though he noted the amount was only RM500.
“This compensation money will never ever compensate fully all the losses that the people suffer because it is only RM500.”
Present were Batu Kitang assemblyman Lo Khere Chiang, Kuching district officer Ibrahim Kipli and political secretary to the chief minister Tan Kai.
Dr Sim (third left) and Ibrahim (second left) pose with the flood relief aid recipients. — Photo by Chimon Upon