BERA: Payment for aid initiatives to ease the burden of flood victims will start today, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said the Prime Minister’s Department’s Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) will channel the money to district and land offices before it is distributed to those involved.

He said the payment covered the purchase of essential goods amounting to RM2,500; vehicle repair discount; rebate of RM500 for the purchase of electrical goods; and home repair assistance of between RM5,000 and RM15,000 for damage caused by the disaster, reported Bernama.

“There are three methods of payment: to be given directly to the house (of recipients) or at the community hall and so on or to be credited into the recipient’s account.

“We leave it to each district to discuss matters of payment with the ICU.

“I want this payment to be expedited… there are no forms that need to be filled because the list (of flood victims) is ready.

“Our principle is not to have a complicated bureaucracy. Assistance should be made easy,” he said at the Bera district council convention hall here yesterday.

Ismail Sabri was presenting RM1,000 compassionate aid (BWI) from the Federal Government and a RM500 contribution from the Pahang government to 478 flood victims in the Bera district, including 45 victims of the second wave of floods.

He said repairs on damaged houses, which involved appointing contractors, had already been implemented by the Public Works Department in Pahang, Negri Sembilan and Melaka.

As for vehicle repair assistance, he said district and land offices were also asked to list workshops in the affected areas so that flood victims did not have to go far to find vehicle service centres such as Proton, Perodua or others that may not be available in their area.

On victims whose names may have been left out of the list, he said that district officers can check with village heads who have information and the lists of houses that were flooded or the victims who moved to their relatives’ houses.

“If (they moved) to temporary evacuation centres, then we already have a list (of flood victims),” the Prime Minister said.

“In villages, there are also village development and security committees (JKKK) and they can also submit their names to district officers.

“Hopefully, they and the village heads will help the government identify those affected by this disaster so that they will receive assistance.”

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri refuted allegations that the flood assistance dispensed is a sign that the general election is near.

“It has nothing to do with the general election.

“When the people are facing hardship, it is the responsibility and obligation of the government to help.

“This is not only aid from the Federal Government as many state governments are also giving assistance,” he added.