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Will Federal Flood Aid Come This Time?

Kota Kinabalu: “Having suffered in silence during the last December and this January devastating floods, Sabahans particularly in Kota Kinabalu, Penampang, Papar and Tuaran, should open their eyes and see for themselves the treatment they will be getting or not getting for federal flood aid” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chief, commenting on whether there will be federal aid in the devastating floods that hit the 4 districts and closed 8 schools on Tuesday.

It is with deep regret that in the last floods, there were hardly any federal flood aid for the victims in Sabah. 

In comparison in the floods in the East Coast of the Peninsula, the Prime Minister of his 1-Malaysia handed out to the victims RM500 immediate flood aid from the federal government. The victims were then swarmed with TV sets, refrigerators, bed sets, pillows and mattresses and stoves amounting to RM5,000 per family with the Prime Minister himself handing them out. 

Sabah and Sarawak flood victims did not even get a single pillow.

To rub salt into the wound, Petronas who had “robbed” hundreds of billions, if not trillions from Sabah’s and Sarawak’s oil and gas, gave cash and goodies to the flood victims in the Peninsula but not to Sabah and Sarawak.

In addition, the federal government gave compensation to farmers and fishermen for their losses of crops, livestock and fish in cages with the Minister of Agriculture even announcing that the aid would be given within two weeks.

While it is not disputed that the flood victims in the Peninsula should be given the aid, the issue at hand is that no similar assistance were given to Sabahans.

“Why the marginalization of Sabah flood victims by the federal government?

Is it because Sabahans are not Malays?”

“Will there be federal flood aid this time round? asked Dr. Jeffrey.

The latest floods to inundate the 4 districts, while a much regretted tragedy, will accord an opportunity to the federal government to make amends and provide the necessary flood aid with compensation for crops, livestock and other losses.

If the federal government fails to respond with a fair, equitable and timely flood aid for the Sabah victims, Sabahans should take steps to reject the federal BN government since they are not been treated as equal Malaysians.

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