DAP’s Impian Kelantan to pay flood victims to rebuild own homes

by Eileen Ng
The Malaysian Insider
2 February 2015

Flood victims in the east coast state of Kelantan, who lost their homes in last year’s floods, will get help rebuilding their houses and receive a wage if they do the work themselves under DAP’s Impian Kelantan programme.

The Pakatan Rakyat component party is collaborating with 39 local non-governmental organisations to identify and build new homes for more than 30,000 people displaced by the floods late last year, which were the worst to hit the peninsula.

Villagers will be given a sum of money for picking up tools to build their own homes as a way to boost their income, especially since many had lost their livelihoods in the agricultural and farming sector, said DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke Siew Fook.

The money will come from funds the party raised from the public late last year to assist flood victims.

“We have already identified some of the villagers and have started work in rebuilding their homes.

“We are also giving them money or hiring them as carpenters to add to their income. Most of them were rubber smallholders and they cannot tap rubber now because the floods have destroyed the trees,” Loke, who is leading the programme, told The Malaysian Insider.

DAP’s collaboration with the local NGOs was launched as Gabungan Impian Kelantan in the state capital of Kota Baru on Saturday night.

This project is similar to other social initiatives under the opposition party’s Impian Malaysia projects.

Among the NGOs are Yayasan Darul Hijrah, Cakna UT, Royalti Kelantan, KB Care, Persatuan Anak Kelantan Darul Naim di Selangor dan Kuala Lumpur (Persada) and Unit Amal Kelantan.

These NGOs will be in charge of identifying the villages, or kampung, and people who need help in rebuilding flood-damaged homes.

Loke said about 80 houses in a village in Gua Musang have been identified as needing repairs. To date, four houses have been rebuilt while works are ongoing for the rest.

The floods in the peninsula last December were among the worst ever to hit the country.

The deluge affected five states – Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Perak and Johor – and at its height, more than 250,000 were displaced.

Although flood waters had subsided, recovery, which is ongoing, is going to take months with many having lost their homes and belongings.

The disaster saw Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak cut short his holiday to return to the country to take charge of recovery efforts after pictures of him playing golf with US President Barack Obama in Hawaii went viral.

In its recently revised budget, Putrajaya allocated more than RM8.9 billion for flood-recovery efforts, of which RM500 million has been distributed as initial allocation for repairs and restoration works and welfare programmes for flood victims.

Another RM800 million was allocated to repair and rebuild basic infrastructures like schools, roads, bridges and hospitals.

Various DAP leaders, including the party’s national adviser Lim Kit Siang had also gone to Kelantan during the floods to help distribute aid.

Other DAP members in the Impian Kelantan team are party national vice-chairman and Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, director of political education and Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong, assistant national organising secretary Vincent Wu, Young Syefura and Dr Tajuddin Shafee.

In a separate statement yesterday, Lim said the party launched Impian Kelatan because it was convinced that Malaysia’s overall prosperity and progressiveness could not be truly achieved if the state remained poor and backward in infrastructure.

Kelantan’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is less than one-third of Malaysia’s GDP per capita and less than one-seventh of Kuala Lumpur’s GDP per capita, Lim said, and it was only right that the state’s people received their due share of development and progress.

The Impian Kelantan project is similar to the DAP’s Impian Sarawak and Sabah initiative, where the party works conducts basic infrastructure projects such as building roads and providing piped water supply and electricity. – February 2, 2015.

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