New state-of-the-art command centre for disaster management to be set up

(Bernama) – The government is considering having a new state-of-the-art command centre to better coordinate aid during disasters, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said today.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the centre would be spearheaded by the National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA).

“We must always be prepared for all eventualities. As a way forward, I would like to see NaDMA spearhead disaster management by having a state-of-the-art command centre,” she told a press conference today.

Dr Wan Azizah had earlier delivered her opening remarks at the 32nd Meeting of the Asean Committee on Disaster Management and Related Meetings attended by 84 delegates from the Asean member countries and several organisations from Australia, Canada, China and New Zealand.

She said to reporters that the matter was still a proposal.

However, it was unclear whether the proposal was to set up a new centre altogether or upgrade the existing National Disaster Command Centre in Pulau Meranti, Puchong, which came under the management of NaDMA in 2015.

Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, said her main priority as the new deputy prime minister was to take charge of disaster management holistically and pragmatically, including ensuring the safety and privacy of women during disasters.

She said the idea, among others, was to give better shelter to women during disasters by providing them with private cubicles so that they could have their privacy and space.

She also said that priorities were also set on disaster-risk reduction and to enhance emergency responses with the cooperation of the Asean member countries regionally and with the public and private sectors locally.

“We have to work together. It’s important because in our region we face almost the same disasters. We have to help each other as neighbours,” she said, adding that resilience in disaster-risk reduction came through public and private investment via structural and non-structural measures.