Kuala Krai’s rebuilding should create jobs for locals
Media statement by DAP Johor Chairman and MP for Kluang Liew Chin Tong on 16th January 2015
It has been almost four weeks since the floods in Kuala Krai on 22th December 2014 but the local conditions are almost unchanged and increasingly worrying. The clean-up efforts are frustratingly slow.
I visited Kuala Krai for the third time on 14th January 2015 with DAP Johor’s team to deliver aid to flood victims. DAP Johor Secretary and ADUN for Penggaram Gan Peck Cheng, DAPSY National Secretary and ADUN for Mengkibol Tan Hong Pin, DAPSY Johor chief and ADUN for Tangkak Ee Chin Li, DAP Johor Policy Director and ADUN for Senai Wong Shu Qi and DAP Johor state committee member George Poh are among the team.
We met MP for Kuala Krai Dr Hatta Ramli and former MP for Kuala Selangor Dr Dzulkifli Ahmad in Kampung Pahi and joined their effort in setting up tents for victims. We also distributed tents to victims in Manjor and Karangan.
I also called on PAS Vice President Dato Husam Musa at his residence in Kota Bharu and discussed with him on post-flood rebuilding effort, in the presence of another PAS Vice President Salahuddin Ayob.
Separately I also called on former Kelantan State Assembly speaker Wan Abdul Rahim and PAS Kota Bharu youth chief Dr Rosli Allani.
First, I wish to reiterate our calls for the Federal Government to declare an emergency on areas worst hit by flood and deploy the armed forces personnel and all possible assets to clean up once and for all immediately to prevent the outbreaks of disease.
I saw with my own eyes in Manjor a Health Ministry car with loudspeaker moving around to advise the residents to use clean water and to use proper toilets. But the irony is that there is no water and electricity supply, and the residents are bathing in the river.
The Ministry of Health and any other ministries must not just advise via loudspeaker and think that such meagre action suffices. The Health Ministry has openly recognised the risks of outbreak of diseases but very little have been done to get things done at Ground Zero. The Federal must organise concerted ‘whole-of-government’ effort to deal with the real situation on the ground.
Second, the rebuilding of Kuala Krai and beyond must not be a way for crony contractors to con the Federal government for contracts. Governments of all levels, as well as NGOs, should give emphasis to creating temporary jobs for the locals in the rebuilding effort.
The economic dislocation as a result of the flood should be recognised as a major socio-economic concern and the solution should not be restricted to the RM500 aid by the Federal government or any form of monetary aid.
Instead, the locals should be enlisted to work with a decent daily wage in their communities to speed up cleaning and rebuilding efforts, and in the process, rebuild the economy vibrancy of the local community.
Something serious must be done very quickly to protect public health, and temporary jobs should be created to keep the local economy moving.
Liew Chin Tong