LIMBANG: A big group of Brunei non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and volunteers in a convoy of 31 four-wheel drive (4WD) vehicles crossed the border to deliver aid to flood victims in this district yesterday.
Second Resource Planning and Environment Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, assemblymen Paulus Palu Gumbang (Batu Danau) and Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail (Bukit Kota) as well as Limbang Resident Maria Hasman received the entourage at a flood relief centre in Kampung Bidang community hall.
They included Brunei Off-Road Vehicle Association and Tutong District 4WD Association under the auspices of the sultanate’s Department of Youth and Sports.
Awang Tengah thanked the entourage led by joint facilitators Amirul Syazmie Ibrahim and Awang Naramizal Serbini for delivering food, bottled water, clothes and other form of assistance to the victims.
“This is a reflection of the close ties between the people of Brunei and Malaysia in Limbang and Lawas with families living on both sides,” he said.
The minister said Brunei NGOs and individuals were caring and sensitive to the suffering caused by the disaster.
“Our brothers and sisters in Brunei also came to the aid of fire victims in Awat Awat in Lawas, showing they are there in good times and bad,” he said.
He handed over aid from PBB to flood victims here.
Paulus commended the donors from Brunei for their caring spirit.
The flood has receded in the interior of this division but villages downriver in Ukong and Ipai are still submerged.
The interior here is among the worst affected with previously flood-free longhouses getting inundated by swollen Limbang River and its tributaries.
The king tide on Jan 19-26 compounded the problem, flooding the middle region of Batu Danau causing 409 villagers from different villages to be evacuated to Bidang Relief Centre.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Tan Sri Shahidan Kassim was here for three days to monitor the situation, visiting Lupok Pasu by boat on Wednesday night and Rumah Asan in Semena, Medamit on Thursday before rushing to Sabah to monitor the situation there.
Awang Tengah accompanying Shahidan to the longhouse said Sesco was on alert throughout the flood and ready to cut off power supply if the situation warranted it.
He urged the flood victims to ensure they were registered with the relevant authorities to facilitate the channelling of assistance.