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PENANG, 5 January 2015 - Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) will assist about 300 of its staff affected by the recent floods in Kelantan and will participate in the post-flood operations process in the state.

Its Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato' Dr. Omar Osman said in his office here, the university is seeking available funds to provide the much needed help to those affected to ease their burden.

"The donation amount may not be big, but it is hoped to lighten their burden particularly in rebuilding their livelihoods as most of them had their property badly damaged or completely destroyed by the devastating floods and natural disaster, not only in the state of Kelantan, but also in the recent storm that hit Balik Pulau in Penang recently," said Omar.

He added that USM sympathised with the plight of its staff there who were badly affected and understand their feelings; among them, there were those who lost everything, including houses that they have just moved in were swept away by flood waters.

“We pray and hope that they will be strong in dealing with this ordeal as they face the challenges ahead in the cleanup and recovery process.

“USM has mobilised its volunteers, especially among its staff to help the staff affected by the floods there and I also know that several USM schools and departments had formed their own volunteer teams to assist the flood victims, which is certainly a praiseworthy act that is always lauded by the university," said Omar.

According to Omar, USM will also provide assistance to the Kelantan people including sharing its expertise with Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) in implementing long term post-flood recovery and rebuilding programmes.

Omar and some Ministry of Education senior officials, headed by the Chief Secretary II Dato' Seri Dr. Zaini Ujang and Higher Education Department Director-General, Professor Dato’ Dr. Asma Haji Ismail visited UMK Campus in Pengkalan Chepa and was briefed by UMK Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato’ Dr. Mortaza Mohamed.

He added that all universites in the country should come together to share their expertise and play a more dominant role in helping the community especially during disasters such as the floods that have hit the country.

We also feel sad and anguished as we witnessed the pain and suffering of the flood victims and the variety of physical facilities, schools and library books been swept away and damaged by the flood water,” added Omar.

USM had earlier sent a few teams of volunteers from among the staff and students to help in the clean-up works in the flood affected schools in Kelantan, joining other volunteer teams from various public universities across the country that have converged there.

USM is expected to send three flood humanitarian mission teams to Kelantan this week begining with the first team leaving tonight,” said Omar. - Translation: Tan Ewe Hoe/Text: Mohamad bin Abdullah

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KUBANG KERIAN, 7 January 2015 - The Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Health Campus has recently become the post-flood coordination centre of public universities with the establishment of a special secretariat War Room which began operation on 3 January 2015.

The War Room will be used to coordinate efforts made by universities across the country together with various local authorities including the Education Department of Kelantan and other related agencies.

This was a result from the visit by the Minister of Education II Dato' Seri Idris Jusoh to the USM Health Campus and Hospital USM, where he also met the students and discussed with several parties from the USM Health Campus.

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This was also a follow up from the official working visit by the Ministry of Education Secretary-General Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Madinah Mohamed to Kelantan where she was given a special briefing by the Kelantan State Secretary Dato' Hj. Mohd Faudzi Hj. Che Mamat and other agencies involved including the National Security Council and the Royal Malaysian Police at the VIP Room of Sultan Ismail Petra Airport, Pengkalan Chepa Kelantan.

Also present were the Director-General of Public Service, Tan Sri Mohamad Zabidi Zainal; the Ministry of Health Secretary-General, Datuk Farida binti Mohd Ali; Ministry of Education Secretary-General II, Dato' Seri Dr. Zaini Ujang; Higher Education Department Director-General, Professor Dato' Dr. Asma Haji Ismail; USM Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato' Dr. Omar Osman; and the Student Volunteers Foundation (YSS) chairperson, Dato' Zuraidah Atan.

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Madinah later met the education community in Kelantan which was attended by 80 officers to coordinate the efforts in helping schools that have been affected by the recent floods.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Education II visited the Ministry of Education's Flood War Room located near to the Student Affairs and Development Department of USM Health Campus to have a closer look at the operations carried out there. He also discussed the immediate actions that need to be taken, including the possibility of digging a well to provide clean water supply as well as cleaning up the schools.

This week, several volunteer teams of staff and students from public universities were in Kelantan to assist the various post-flood efforts especially to clean-up the schools before the school session starts next week.

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Idris was involved in the discussion and contributed ideas to ensure the smooth operation of the efforts made.

"Think of new ideas, do not wait and keep moving," adviced Idris before leaving the campus.

Also present at the War Room were USM Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato' Dr. Omar Osman; Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dato' Dr. Mortaza Mohamed; USM Health Campus Director, Professor Dato' Dr. Mafauzy Mohamed; the Kelantan Graduates Association President, Dato’ Mohd Faizal bin Daud; and USM and UMK officers.

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Idris also handed over contribution to a staff nurse of USM Hospital who lost almost RM20,000 when her rented house was swept away by the floods. - Translation: Siti Faizah Abd Halim/Text & Photo: Mohamad bin Abdullah ​

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KOTA BHARU, 7 January 2015 - Volunteers comprising staff from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) have successfully helped three schools in Kelantan by cleaning about 80 percent of the remaining mud and dirt that was left behind by the floods.

The schools, placed on the T1 and T2 stage, were successfully cleaned by the USM volunteers who toiled tirelessly from morning till late afternoon to ensure that all schools are clean, safe and ready for the new school term which will begin this Sunday.

The first group of volunteers of the second phase that departed last Monday, totaling 85 staff, was led by the Human Resources Management Department Principal Assistant Registrar, Mohd Mukhwim Maghribi and they successfully cleaned up the school area despite the limited water resources available.

Mukhwim said he was grateful for the commitment of all the staff where they even come up with ideas to help solve some of the problems encountered.

"Until this afternoon, the volunteers managed to clean up the pre-school building, teachers office, six classrooms, two science laboratories, seven school assembly areas and furniture, chairs and tables for classrooms at Sekolah Kebangsaan Kampung Laut Tumpat, Sekolah kebangsaan Seri Kota Kota Bharu dan Sekolah Kebangsaan Paloh, Pintu Gang," added Mukhwim.

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The headmaster of Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Kota, Kamarulzaman Ibrahim expressed his gratitude to USM for helping the school to solve some of the problems faced due to the floods.

"On behalf of the teachers and the Kelantan folks, we are indeed very grateful and thankful to all the USM volunteers who came from afar to help clean-up the school," said Kamarulzaman.

Today, the second team of about 100 USM staff is expected to arrive to continue the mission of cleaning up several schools in Kelantan while the third team will be here on 9 January right up until 11 January 2015.

- Translation: Siti Faizah Abd Halim/Text & Photo: Mohd Azrul Mohd Azhar who participated in the post-flood relief mission.

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