KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 22 — Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar has taken Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari to task over the latter’s statement blaming the slow flood response on the fact he was not appointed the state’s National Security Council (NSC) chair sooner.
In a report by Malaysiakini, Noh said that Amirudin has confused two separate committees under NSC, which are Order 1 — which oversees security affairs — and Order 20, which handles disaster management.
The Tanjung Karang MP said that he is still chair of the Order 1 committee, while Amirudin begins his role as chair for the Order 20 committee today.
“I would like to teach this mentri besar a bit so that he understands the difference in government orders. Under the NSC, there are two orders, namely Order Number 1 which is on state security and public order matters, and Order Number 20 that stipulates a review on the policy and mechanisms for national disaster management.
“This means there are two separate committees. The one I am chairing is under Order Number 1,” he told reporters at a press conference in Putrajaya today.
Amirudin previously said that he could not mobilise security agencies when the flooding situation in the state started to escalate as he did not chair the state NSC, which instead was chaired by a federal minister.
Noh, however, refuted this, saying that the position he holds is not in charge of disaster management, and is instead under the purview of another state committee under the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) and chaired by the Selangor state secretary.
He said that this committee consists of the state police chief, the commanders of the Armed Forces brigades in the state and district officers, among others.
“I was shocked to read mentri besar’s statement claiming that he could not call the police and military for a meeting when the committee (under state secretary) already has security forces as its members,” Noh said.
“No wonder the state disaster management went haywire, seeing that the mentri besar could not even understand the power that was given to the state,” Noh said, adding that the attack by Amirudin was also politically motivated as Noh is from Umno.
At the same time, Noh also shed some light on news reports that made him sound as if he was threatening flood victims who decided against going to temporary relief centres (PPS), saying he disagrees with such practice.
“What I said was I disagreed, as in the time of emergency we should set aside such rules. We need to place importance on the welfare of the rakyat,” he said.
Amirudin was reinstated as chairman of Selangor’s NSC following a meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob yesterday.
He said that in November, the NSC chairman position was surrendered to a federal-level minister, hence when the flood hit, he could not mobilise the state’s security forces.
He said if he were still heading the state’s security council, he would have contacted the army to mobilise the necessary assets for search and rescue missions.
However, he added that no one, including the NSC, should be blamed over the disaster that saw more than 30,000 individuals and 4,000 households displaced.