GEORGE TOWN – Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng today announced an RM100 million special relief programme after the state was hit by one of the worst floods in recent history.
Titled “Pulau Pinang Bangkit”, Lim said the programme was to help more than 100,000 families who were affected by the storm and floods during last weekend.
The programme included a one-off payment of RM500 for each household affected by the floods, which will cost the state government at least RM50 million.
Lim, who made the special announcement at the state legislative assembly today, also announced rebates in water bills and assessment rates for all in the state.
He said there are three main challenges faced by the state following the disaster: cleaning work, repairs of damaged properties, and replacements of what can’t be repaired.
“For the RM500 one-off payment to each household or business, they may only apply for this payment once and forms will only be available after November 18 when the one-off RM400 payment was disbursed for the September 15 floods,” he said.
Lim said the cleaning works for most households will involve a lot of water so the Penang Water Supply Corporation has agreed that for the next water bill cycle of two months, all Water Conservation Surcharge will be exempted.
All domestic consumers in Penang will also get a 50 per cent discount on their water bill while commercial consumers will get 25 per cent discount.
“This will involve savings of about RM10 million for consumers in Penang,” he said.
Both Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) and Penang Island City Council (MBPP) will also give a 10 per cent discount for assessment rates of all properties in the state.
“The overall costs of this is expected to reach about RM40 million,” Lim said.
The Penang state government will also replace all land titles that were lost or damaged in the floods for free.
Lim then announced this weekend, November 11 and 12, as the Pulau Pinang Bangkit or Penang Bounce Back Volunteer Days, where all who are unaffected by the floods are encouraged to help those affected in any manner they can.
All payments and discounts under the Penang Bounce Back programme will be implemented this year.
Earlier, Lim said a total 12,559 people of 3,052 families were evacuated during the disaster over the weekend.
A total of 84 relief centres were opened in the whole state and as at 8am today, 55 of it have closed with only 29 still open.
A total of 3,129 people are still in the 29 relief centres in North and Central Seberang Perai.
Lim said the state government is also accepting donations from the public and this fund will be used either to be disbursed directly to the victims or through projects.
“The public can make the donations directly to the state treasury,” he said.
The state is not accepting donations from individuals, but will accept from organisations and groups that have collected funds for the victims.