GEORGE TOWN, Nov 14 — Penang will replenish disaster relief supplies in the state to minimum levels if the federal government fails to maintain these at sufficient quantities, said Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (DAP — Air Putih).
He said it was unacceptable for the federal government to be tardy in restocking such items, noting that disaster relief was the purview of the Welfare Department.
“We are very concerned with the statement by state exco Dr Afif Bahardin that a lot of these disaster relief storage centres did not have food supplies or were empty for two months before the disaster on November 4,” he said when reading out his winding-up speech at the legislative assembly today.
“We hope the federal government will hasten sending out the supplies and not allow these storage centres to be empty for two months such as what happened before this,” he said.
Lim added that failure to ensure adequate relief supplies would expose the Welfare Department to potential shortages in the event of disaster.
He also urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to approve the state’s proposed RM1 billion worth of flood mitigation projects.
The CM also denied saying the federal government did not render aid during the recent floods in the state, and clarified that he was referring to the funds for flood mitigation in the state that were still to be disbursed.
State Opposition Leader Datuk Jahara Hamid (BN — Teluk Air Tawar) later stood up to say that she expected that the federal government will replenish the supplies soon.
Dr Afif (PKR — Seberang Jaya) previously claimed that Welfare Department ran out of disaster relief supplies for flood victims on November 5.
He further alleged that even the department’s supplies in neighbouring Kedah would not have been enough for the victims of the floods in Penang.