S'pore donated money & SCDF team on standby to help M'sia's flood relief efforts: Vivian Balakrishnan

Singapore is ready to provide further assistance if required by Malaysia.

Faris Alfiq | January 13, 2022, 02:26 PM

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Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan said Singapore has offered assistance to Malaysia during the flooding crisis.

Vivian wrote to his counterpart in Malaysia, Saifuddin Abdullah in December 2021, to express condolences and offer Singapore's help.

He was responding in a written answer to a question filed by Member of Parliament for Jalan Besar GRC, Wan Rizal Wan Zakariah, on Singapore's efforts and support to help Malaysians affected by the flood.

"Singapore stands in solidarity with Malaysia during this difficult time," Vivian wrote.

In December last year and January 2022, Kuala Lumpur, as well as nine other states in Malaysia, experienced flooding.

The floods resulted in the loss of many lives and widespread destruction of property, causing hardship and suffering to the affected communities, Vivian wrote.

Government contributed seed money to Singapore Red Cross

Singapore has contributed US$60,000 (S$81,000) as seed money to support the Singapore Red Cross' (SRC) public fundraising to aid disaster relief and recovery efforts in Malaysia as well as the Philippines, which had been affected by Typhoon Rai.

The contribution supplemented the Singapore Red Cross' pledge of US$50,000 (S$67,335) to the Malaysian Red Crescent, which went towards emergency healthcare and the distribution of relief supplies to evacuation centres.

On top of the monetary contribution, Vivian wrote that the Singapore Civil Defence Force has also placed a disaster relief team on standby for deployment, should there be requests for support from our Asean counterparts through Asean frameworks.

"We stand ready to provide any further assistance that we can render should Malaysia require it," he wrote.

Relief efforts focus on emergency healthcare psychological first aid

According to SRC, the relief efforts will focus on emergency healthcare, first aid assistance, and distribution of hygiene kits, shelter tool kits, tarpaulins, hot meals, clothes, mats, blankets and surgical masks to evacuation centres.

In the Philippines, SRC added that they would also support a local organisation to distribute relief items including water, rice, groceries to 1,000 households across six communities in need of support.

On top of that, psychological first aid is also provided in evacuation centres to affected persons.

"These disasters once again highlight the need for the global community to come together to address the causes of climate change and environmental degradation," secretary-general and CEO of SRC, Benjamin William, said.

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Top images via Hishammuddin Hussein/Facebook and Vivian Balakrishnan/Facebook