Writing to Najib on three proposals: Defer GST, Double up RM500 million to RM1 billion allocation with interest-free loans to all victims to re-start business and declare state of emergency to deal worsening floods in Pahang and to enable flood victims to start life anew
Yesterday DAP sent multiple flood relief teams to flood-stricken areas in Kelantan and Pahang, comprising:
- Three containers of essential supplies to flood victims, two from Penang and one from Johore for Kuala Krai as part of the “Save Kuala Krai Convoy Mission”.
- Some 250 “great Malaysian sons and daughters” from Penang, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Negri Sembilan and Johor who took part in the multiple flood relief mission of New Year’s Day 2015, comprising:
- over 20 FWDs from Penang (flagged off by Penang Chief Minister and DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng in Penang on New Year’s Day at 1.30 a.m.) driving 15 hours from Penang to Kuala Krai ferrying over 2,000 cartons of essential supplies from two containers and over 20 FWDs.
- Over 20 FWDs of supplies from Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Negri Sembilan to Kuala Krai (this is the third relief mission to Kuala Krai led DAP National Organising Secretary Anthony Loke in five days).
- Three containers (one for Kuala Krai, one for Kota Bharu and another for Mentakab) together with 11 FWDs of emergency supplies from Johor DAP, led by 2MPs and 7 SAs.
My visit to Kuala Krai yesterday, accompanied by the Kuala Krai MP Dr. Mohamed Hatta Ramli, is my second visit to Kelantan in five days to provide help and support to flood victims of the worst floods in decades.
Following my observations from two visits, the first one on Dec. 28 to Kota Bahru when the Kelantan capital was under water, I am writing to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak making three specific proposals. They are:
Firstly, the catastrophic flood disaster had undermined the confidence of businesses. Many, not only in the flood-stricken areas, are already talking of winding up business operations when faced with the burden of additional expenses, responsibilities and work with the looming implementation of GST next April 1, especially when their children are outstation or overseas and have no intention to continue their parents’ business.
The catrastrophic flood disaster is a second cruel blow, where almost every person in Kuala Krai became a flood victim – registered or unregistered – giving additional reasons for businesses to wind up.
For this reason, the Prime Minister should defer indefinitely the implementation of GST on April 1 as this will only add to the hardships and sufferings of the flood victims, which number over a million people as not all flood victims are housed at the various floods relief centres.
Secondly, double the RM500 million flood relief allocation to RM1 billion, including providing interest-free loans to every flood victim to allow business and ordinary life to start anew immediately, in the shortest possible of timEvery flood victim whose business, whether from hawker stalls to shop business, should be entitled to interest free loan, ranging from RM1,000 to RM250,000 to restart business.
Thirdly, declare state of emergency arising from the severity, scale and scope of the floods catastrophe, not only to deal with the worsening floods situation in Pahang but also to help flood victims in all flood-stricken states to start life anew in the shortest possible time possible.
The reason given by Najib that a declaration of state of emergency would absolve insurance companies from paying insurance claims has proven to be a dud excuse, as the insurance regulator, the General Insurance Assocation of Malaysia (PIAM) has confirmed that insurance companies will not be absolved of liability in paying out compensation for flood claims even if a state of emergency had been declared.
A state of emergency arising from natural disaster is not to invoke martial law, nor does it mean the imposition of curfew, and most serious of all, it will not usher in “permanent emergency” as happened previouisly, like the four Proclamations of Emergency from Indonesian Confrontation 1965, Sarawak Political Crisis in 1967, May 13 riots in 1969 and the Kelantan Political Crisis in 1977 which existed for decades before they were annulled two years ago.
This is because a state of emergency arising from a floods catastrophe will lapse automatically once the natural disaster is over, and flood victims can start their life anew.
In a state of emergency, the military could be mobilized not only to help the police to maintain security, but also help the flood victims to start a new life in the shortest possible time, as in building temporary housing shelter to the flood victims who have been rendered homeless by the floods.