SEGAMAT: More manpower and assets from the Armed Forces will be deployed to flood-hit areas nationwide to assist flood rescue efforts.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said another 60 officers and 1,123 personnel had been instructed to assist such efforts on top of the existing teams from the Armed Forces.

“I have also instructed for 160 additional assets to be on standby. These include boats, boat engines, lorries, tipper trucks, backhoes and field ambulances.

“These additions will be deployed according to the needs of the different states,” he told a press conference after attending a flood briefing by government agencies with Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad at the Royal Artillery Fourth Regiment Segamat camp here yesterday.

To help with Johor’s flood situation, Hishammuddin said the Armed Forces had sent manpower from several Royal Artillery Regiments and the Territorial Army (Askar Wataniah) to carry out flood rescue efforts under Ops Murni.

He said the priority was to rescue flood victims before coordinating with flood relief centres and relevant agencies on the distribution of food and other essential goods.

Meanwhile, Hasni said the state government was considering giving one-off financial aid of RM500 to flood victims in Johor.

The matter would be raised at the state government’s executive council meeting tomorrow for discussion and approval, he said.

“Along with that, we aim to discuss the suitable amount of assistance for the families of deceased flood victims.

“This is aimed at helping the flood victims in Johor on top of the cash assistance of RM1,000 for heads of households and RM10,000 for the next of kin of deceased flood victims as announced by the Federal Government recently,” he added.

On Dec 30, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced the RM1.4bil Keluarga Malaysia (Malaysian Family) Flood Relief fund to provide aid for home and personal vehicle repairs, as well as financing for affected businesses.

The package of assistance and facilities for flood victims includes compassionate cash aid of RM1,000 for heads of households, RM10,000 for the next of kin of deceased flood victims and RM500 vouchers to buy new electrical goods.

In Kuala Lumpur, the Fire and Rescue department has stepped up its readiness in six states following continuous rain in several areas.

Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican said department personnel were on 24-hour standby in areas at high risk of floods and were conducting various rescue efforts, including relocating victims to temporary relief centres.

“Part of the preparation is deploying 7,257 personnel in the states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Melaka, Johor and Negri Sembilan.

“In terms of logistics, we have added 203 marine vehicles, 63 pickup vehicles and 173 utility vehicles,” he said in a Facebook post yesterday.