A week has gone and we heard nothing in the media social but flooding issues that hit 5 northern states in Malaysia. Kelantan got hit the most. Media social have been posting photos and textes from desperate people who are asking for help. More than 100,000 poeple were evacuated from their homes to a safer area but more are still trapped and are still hoping to be relocated.
The number of evacuatees this year surpassed the record in 2008 as informed by The New Straits Times. This is the worst monsoon floods in decades. Extremely high level of water and with very bad weather and also high current of water flowing have made relocating of victims and transport of food, medical supplies and clean water are difficult even by helicopters.
As local media carried photographs of people wading through flood waters as deep as two metres (6.5 feet) and entire houses submerged by rising water, the government faced criticism for not declaring a state of emergency to help devastated communities
At least five people have been killed by the rising waters. Among the dead was a todler who was swept away by a strong currents after she fell from her mother’s arm while they were wading in waters on their way to a relief centre. A young couple went missing after it became entrapped in a whirlpool and capsized.
On Tuesday last (Dec 23, 2014), nearly 60 foreign tourists were among almost 100 people rescued by boat and helicopter from a Taman Negara.
Najib has come under fire for going on holidays in Hawaii, where he was seen golfing with President Barack Obama. People have posted messages on his Facebook page, questioning why he was not at home to deal with the flooding crisis and urging him to return home as the flooding worsened.
To the Malaysian or to the ordinary people like me, the photo shows an insensitve attitude of the PM, while the people are suffering, the PM can happily go for a holiday whatmore having his golfing time with President Obama. To the Malaysian it is important for the PM to come up and show face not only looking out from the helicopter windows but wading the water to see the situation to show that he cares. To us a PM is like a captain of a ship. Any responsible captain will not abandon his ship in distress and delegating his duty to the assistant. A captain does not bail out if the ship in sinking, but he must be there to take charge. Similarly for Najib, he must be at home to take charge of the situation. No one expect him to wade through the water to save lives. Call it bad timing, call it bad planning…but our PM should have anticipated that floods will hit us this time of the year. Instead of flying off for a vacation, he should have stayed through to ensure that disaster relief is well handled during the monsoon. Right now, Najib is perceived as a PM who really cares more about his own personal pleasures than about the rakyat’s suffering.
A not so intelligent reply from the DPM is not only putting a smirk on the Malaysian face but also shows how much the PM cares towards his people. DPM quoted ” We must be fair. The prime minister also has his time for a break as he has been working so hard. He is also a human being. I told him not to worry and to have trust in me, we will manage the issue in whatever way we can. There is no need for Najib to come back immediately. If I cannot handle the issue, then I will call Najib to return to Malaysia,”
Critics also charged PM’s government for failing to respond quickly enough and comemnting for not declaring a state of emergency in the worst hit regions. Again our DPM responded lamely ” We face floods every year but this is looking to be the worst the country has seen in the last 30 years. Unless there was a total breakdown in electricity or water supply, or if the number of evacuees rises to over hundreds of thousands, we will not declare a state of emergency.”
Whatever the reasons that the PM’s cabinet ministers are giving, Malaysia should look into ways to prevent the same crisis to happen again. Our DPM quoted ” we faced flood issues every year “, So? Did the government put up strategies to reduce the issues? Did we plan anything months before the moonsoon comes so that we are prepared?
Why can’t the Malaysia government take an advice from the Dutch as we all know Dutch are an expert when comes to water management. Read this article about it.
Only them knows the answer why they are not asking for an expert for some help 😦
Photos from the flooding.