Post-flood rebuilding to cost Malaysia $560 million
Nearly half of damage suffered in northeastern Kelantan state in worst monsoon season in 3 decades
By P Prem Kumar
Malaysia’s government has announced it will have to spend more than RM2 billion ($560 million) to rebuild areas affected by the worst monsoon season flooding in three decades.
Mustapa Mohamed, the International Trade and Industry Minister, told reporters Thursday that the federal government will have to fork out 2 billion Ringgit to mitigate public losses to infrastructure, roads and bridges.
Explaining that northeastern Kelantan state had suffered the most damage, Mohamed said, “We would estimate a total loss of 932 million Ringgit for Kelantan but I would personally estimate total losses for the whole of Malaysia to reach up to RM2 billion.”
Mohamed said the government is cooperating with various agencies to divide the restoration work as the move would “ensure faster and more efficient assistance to the peoples' need”
He added, “There are a few things that must be taken into account before carrying out the restoration of the damaged structures, schools, hospitals, clinics, bridges, roads and equipment."
Monsoon floods are not a new phenomenon in Malaysia, where each year-end east coasters face heavy rain falls, which result in flash flooding.
This year over 250,000 people were evacuated at the peak of the disaster which has had the greatest impact on the states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang.
Research economist Alan Tan has told The Anadolu Agency that areas primarily affected were in the agriculture sector - mainly in palm oil output - thanks to their being fewer industrial locations in the three severely affected states.
Most of Malaysia's industrial areas lie on its west coast.
The Affin Hwang Capital Research employee added that Malaysia's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract 0.5 percent this year, no thanks to flood recovery spending and the reduction in palm oil output.
The additional spending comes amid concerns of lower government revenue this year due to low fuel prices and the weakening Ringgit, which has hit a five-year low against the U.S. dollar.
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