Monday, May 23, 2011

Landslide : Does it matter if victims were really orphans, Zuraida slams Shahrizat

Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin expressed horror at Women's minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil for her insensitive questioning of whether those who died at the tragic landslide in Hulu Langat were really orphans.

In the Sinar Harian newspaper, Shahrizat said her ministry could only give the cash aid to the victims after checking their status as during her visit over weekend, she had seen many families at site of the tragedy and the hospitals where the survivors had been sent.

"What has that got to do with it? The issue is not whether the victims were orphans but that they were victims. I am horrified at her insensitivity," Zuraida told Malaysia Chronicle.

"This is the time when the government must help the victims, so I would like to warn Shahrizat; don't play games with people's misery. Don't delay, these are urgent matters. Help when you must. Loosen the purse strings when you must. Don't give excuses and just parade around with the other Wanita members offering sympathy but no cash!"

16 people, mostly young children, have died after two simultaneous landslides hit Rumah Anak Yatim Hidayah in Hulu Langat on Saturday. Twenty-five people, including four wardens, had been buried alive and only 9 survived.

Finally, cash aid announced

Meanwhile, making amends for her earlier conduct, Shahrizat announced this afternoon the victims will get RM1,500 each from the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry through the National Welfare Foundation.

She said they would also receive RM300 each from the Social Welfare Department and other aid from the Sayang Skuad or Love Squad.

The ministry, she said, would also provide other forms of assistance to the victims, including counselling especially to the three survivors still at the Intensive care Unit of the Ampang Hospital.

"The victims at the ICU need support and motivation, especially the two who had legs amputated,"Shahrizat told a press conference.

The Women's ministry will also offer accommodation at the Skill Development Centre in Serendah, Selangor, to those who needed it.

Meanwhile, Ampang Hospital director, Dr Aishah Ahmad Makinuddin, who was also at the presser said six of the survivors were in the normal ward and in stable condition.

- Malaysia Chronicle

Written by Melissa Lee, Malaysia Chronicle

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