THE Penang government today appealed to Putrajaya to provide cash aid for flood victims in the state.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the money that the state government could give was not enough.
Penang recently suffered two flood disasters – one on September 15, following 270mm rainfall, and a more severe one on November 4 and 5, after a record 372mm downpour.
The state government is giving out RM400 for the September flood and RM700 for the November disaster.
“We again appeal to the federal government to send financial aid to the victims. We are not asking for money to be sent to the state government.
“The money we ask for is for the people affected by the floods. RM400 and RM700 is not enough to help them recover,” Lim said at a press conference today in Komtar.
The state is disbursing RM400 to each of the 7,037 households affected by the September flood this weekend before it sees to the RM700 aid applications.
The state government estimated that some 100,000 households were affected by the November storm that brought strong 64kph winds and floods throughout the state.
Lim said the federal government only sent help to rescue victims but had not approved any cash allocation to help people affected by the disaster.
“Of the RM234.88 million spent from 2013 to 2017 for flood relief nationwide, Penang received the least amount, at only RM35,500, from the federal government following the September 15 flood,” he said.
Lim also urged Prime Minister Najib Razak to remember his promise to consider the RM1 billion federal allocation for flood mitigation projects in the opposition-controlled state.
Najib had recently visited Penang to check on the flood relief operation.
“Please approve the RM1 billion aid. The money is part of the RM1.6 billion allocation approved for flood mitigation projects.
“We are not even asking for the full sum previously approved,” he said.
Earlier during the press conference, Lim also told the Meteorological Department to get its facts right after its director-general Alui Baharin was quoted as saying Penang had worse heavy rain in 1995 in a Berita Harian article on November 12.
Lim showed records of flash floods in several parts in Nibong Tebal in September 1995 that were caused by heavy rain that lasted 12 to 48 hours.
He said the recorded rainfall then was only nearly 200mm, far less than the record-breaking rainfall recorded in September and November this year.
“We hope the Met Department can recheck its records, and also why it failed to send an early warning for the November 4 storm.
“We all know well that the department only sent the red alert at 9.30pm that day after the heavy rain and strong winds had come,” he said.
Lim said he just had conversions with notable persons from Western countries this morning and they too had found it puzzling that Penang was not warned of the storm.
“We hope the director-general can also look into a revamp to ensure his department can do its job well and give accurate weather forecasts and alerts,” he said.