SEGAMAT: The government has approved a one-off allocation of RM10 million to the armed forces for the purchase of assets and to help in preparing for future floods.
Defence minister Mohamad Hasan said the funds were approved at the post-Cabinet meeting yesterday.
He said the assets include rubber boats that can facilitate rescue efforts for flood victims trapped in shallow areas, as well as a seven-tonne truck.
“Currently, the armed forces uses combat boats but we need rubber boats such as those used by commandos, and the fire and rescue department.
“This is part of our preparations to face non-traditional threats and provide rescue assistance in situations like this (floods),” he said at a press conference after visiting flood victims at the temporary evacuation centre at SK Temenggong Abdul Rahman here.
Mohamad said these assets would be placed in states which often face floods, such as Johor, Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan and Negeri Sembilan.
He said 1,500 armed forces personnel were deployed to help flood victims in Johor, with 28 boats and 33 lorries. They included the armed forces’ Medical Corps, Royal Engineer Corps, and technical units.
The ministry also sent navy personnel for the first time to help flood victims in Johor, he added.
Mohamad said the construction of the Bailey bridge on the main road to Felda Selancar, Rompin, Pahang, would be completed within a day or two.
On March 1, deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced the construction of the Bailey bridge after the existing one was washed away by floodwaters.