Malaysia Awaits Go-Ahead To Send Aid To Lombok Quake Victims

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 8 (Bernama) -- Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said Wednesday the government has yet to receive the go-ahead from the Indonesian government to send aid to quake-hit Lombok in the republic.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the government had expressed its readiness and offered assistance to the Indonesian government.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had offered aid and conveyed his condolences to the Indonesian government, she said to reporters at her office at Parliament House after presenting to the next-of-kin RM2,000 for the funeral arrangements of Siti Nur Ies'Mawida Ismail, a Malaysian woman who was killed in the first earthquake to strike Lombok on July 29.

Lombok was hit by a second, bigger earthquake on Aug 6.

Dr Wan Azizah said the government had to wait for the green light from the Indonesian government so as to facilitate coordination.

Siti Nur les’Mawida’s husband Mohd Hafiz Mohd Kassim, 30, and her mother Mazinah Mahmood, 57, received the cheque. Mohd Hafiz will also receive a pension of RM863 per month under the Social Security Insurance Scheme.

Also present was Human Resource Minister M. Kula Segaran.

The Aug 6 quake, which measured 7.0 on the Richter scale, reportedly killed 142 people. The July 29 quake was of magnitude 6.8 and took 16 lives.

“This place (Lombok) seems to have been tested so badly,” Dr Wan Azizah said and extended her condolences to the next-of-kin of those who were killed.

Citing the example of Siti Nur les’Mawida, she advised employers who had yet to register with Socso to do so and make their contributions for their workers’ benefit.

Dr Wan Azizah said that besides introducing the social security protection to taxi drivers and e-hailing service drivers, the government proposed to extend the scheme to people in other informal sectors such as farmers, fishermen, hawkers and artistes.

Meanwhile, Kula Segaran expressed regret over the low number of taxi drivers and e-hailing service drivers who have registered for the social security insurance scheme, saying only 5,000 out of the estimated 90,000 had registered.

"I am very sad that this has happened … they are at risk more than everybody else because they are always on the road and tired," he said.

-- BERNAMA