KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 16): The government has agreed to increase the compassionate aid (Bantuan Wang Ihsan or BWI) from RM500 to RM1,000 for each household affected during the northeast monsoon, or other disasters declared by the Central Disaster Management Committee (JPBP).
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the matter was decided in the JPBP meeting chaired by him on Sept 13.
He said the assistance was among the new approaches taken by the government in an effort to improve management and preparedness to face the northeast monsoon, which is expected to take place from early November until the end of March 2022, involving the east coast states, Johor, Sabah and Sarawak.
“The provision of this assistance is not a form of compensation for damage to the home and property suffered by the victim, but to ease the burden borne by them.
“This initiative is expected to ease the burden of more than 39,100 households, involving an allocation of more than RM39.5 million from the National Disaster Relief Trust Fund,” he said in a statement today.
Ismail Sabri said the decision to increase the aid also demonstrated the government’s concern for the victims of the disaster, coupled with the economic impact faced by the people due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Apart from that, he said on the basis of concern and responsibility to the state governments, which faced difficulties in managing northeast monsoon disasters throughout the year, the allocation for northeast monsoon operating expenditure 2021/2022 would also be channelled using the National Disaster Relief Trust Fund amounting to RM9.5 million to help smooth the process and ensuring that the well-being and welfare of the people continue to be looked after.
Meanwhile, the prime minister said the new approach, which was also decided at the meeting, was the development of the non-governmental organisation (NGO) e-Sumbangan system as a platform to coordinate assistance between donors and NGOs to disaster victims.
“Assistance needs to go through the central or state or district disaster management committee, so that the coordination of assistance can be done more smoothly and systematically.
“Voluntary bodies wishing to send aid also need to get permission from the central or state or district disaster management committee first as the local level committee is more knowledgeable about the wants and needs of the victims in the affected areas,” he said.
In the meantime, Ismail Sabri advised all parties involved to be consistent in planning and implementing disaster management improvements, through programmes and projects that are beneficial in their respective states.
He said all agencies involved should also use and share all existing assets in their respective states by involving corporate bodies, NGOs and individuals at the local level, so that they can shoulder their responsibilities in accordance with the spirit of the Malaysian Family.
“In line with the spirit of Malaysian Family, the public is also advised to always be sensitive and concerned with the surrounding environment, including neighbours and friends as well as their own family members during the monsoon season, to avoid any untoward incidents,” he said.