GEORGE TOWN, Nov 5 — The Penang Barisan Nasional (BN) will set up a special team to gather feedback from all districts on ways to improve disaster relief efforts following one of the worst floods to hit the state over the weekend.
Penang BN chairman Teng Chang Yeow said he will call a meeting with all BN component parties tomorrow to set up a special team consisting of representatives from all components, Umno, Gerakan, MCA and MIC.
The team will be tasked to come up with ways to improve the standard operation procedures (SOP) for flood relief efforts in the state.
“A review of SOP for flood relief efforts of the government must be undertaken in view of changing weather pattern and availability of new communication technology,” he said.
On top of that, he said he has spoken with the Penang Federal Action Council chairman Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman on setting up a special task force to formulate a comprehensive flood mitigation and drainage masterplan for Penang.
“The task force should include various federal agencies such as the Drainage and Irrigation Department,” he said.
He said Zainal will be calling for a meeting tomorrow to get this task force in motion.
Teng termed the massive floods and storm last night as a major disaster to hit the state almost similar to the tsunami that hit some parts of the state in 2004.
“We will try our best efforts to continue to find solutions for the problem,” he said.
Teng, who is also Penang Gerakan chairman, said all Gerakan coordinators and BN leaders have gone down to the ground to offer direct assistance to affected flood victims.
“They started helping since last night in what we initially thought was just flash floods but we did not expect such a terrible storm to happen,” he said.
Teng said this is the first time he had experienced such strong winds in Penang, almost like a typhoon, that he feared the windows of his room could shatter from the force of the winds.
“I’ve never experienced such strong winds, it was pushing hard at my windows, I can hear the windows thumping, I thought it might shatter the glass,” he said.
He added that he has asked Zainal to ask for special allocations from federal government to help affected victims.