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Time to stand behind our PM, says Kit Siang

 | December 27, 2014

Lim Kit Siang urges all Malaysians to throw their weight behind Najib Razak and assist wholeheartedly in flood disaster relief operations.

lim kit siang najib banjir2PETALING JAYA: Expressing his relief that Najib Razak has decided to cut short his vacation in Hawaii and return to flood-stricken Malaysia, DAP elder statesman Lim Kit Siang called on all Malaysians to now stand united behind the prime minister and fully support his disaster relief efforts.

Displaying outstanding leadership traits himself, Lim also called on all Malaysians to pitch in, saying the response to the disaster could not lie solely on the shoulders of the government.

In a statement issued this morning, Lim said, “The response to the worst flood disaster in the nation’s history cannot be the government’s responsibility alone, but must involve the effort of all Malaysians,” stressing however the importance of the PM being physically present in the country to spearhead the mobilisation of “every available ounce of resources to render help to those in need in the quickest possible time.”

He also said the next thing of urgency was to seek an “emergency Cabinet meeting within 24 hours” so that “immediate rectification” to disaster relief efforts could be made, adding that waiting till the Cabinet’s next meeting, a “full fortnight away” was too long.

Lim also urged the PM and his Cabinet to declare a state of emergency, something his deputy had refused to do yesterday.

Still stinging from Muhyiddin Yassin’s apparent inaction despite the severity and scale of the disaster, Lim implied that only the PM could take charge in this instance.

He said, “Such a bureaucratic mess could only be straightened up immediately with the Prime Minister taking charge of the flood disaster relief operations, cutting through all red tape and bureaucratic bottlenecks.”

In his statement, Lim also said that while Minister Shahidan Kassim was right in stating there was adequate food supplies as well as assets to send essentials to flood victims, the bigger issue was the inability of rescuers to reach flood victims in “outlying and inaccessible areas.”

“…the challenge is still how to send the essentials to those who had been stranded”, he said, relating the “heart-rending account” of those seeking shelter in a Kuala Krai school who had gone without food, clean water, electricity or any aid for over 40 hours.

He also acknowledged the efforts of International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapha Mohamad who experienced “first hand what it was like to grapple in the dark in waist-high floodwaters in search of safe ground”.

Saying, “Let us move on to give priority to the flood victims,” Lim praised DAP’s National Organising Secretary Anthony Loke for launching a nationwide fund raising campaign as well as the Pakatan Rakyat Selangor and Penang state governments for swinging into action in regard to flood relief work.


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