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Flood Disaster In Malaysia: We Have Been Warned

Meanwhile, YDP Agong & Raja Permaisuri amid the flood disaster
Flood Disaster AllSight Malaysia
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The rain that began on a beautiful Friday morning has unfolded into one of the biggest flood disaster in Malaysia. Houses under knee-deep water, supermarkets swamped, electricity cut off, and more than 70,000 flood victims displaced, hope seems bleak. Amid the devastating situation, harmoniousness in the country has also never been higher. Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah and Yang di-Pertuan Agong shined through to set an example for people all over the world. They showed us what it means to be the king and queen of the people’s heart. 

flood disaster in Malaysia

Queen Of The People

At a time where people have lost faith, Raja Permaisuri instilled hope among the Rakyat. She rolled up her sleeves and became an active part of the rescue team, at the frontlines. Compassion shone through as she cooked and fed the flood victims in several ​​ Temporary Evacuation Centers (PPS) in Kuantan, Pahang.

Istana Pahang has time and time proved herself to be one of the most humble Queens around the world. She paid no heed to the warnings and risks of showing up by herself whenever a natural disaster occurs. This is not the first time her majesty  has cooked for her people. On a previous occasion, her majesty has prepared a delicious mix of chicken, fried cabbage, creamy gravy . With a side of salted fish for more than 1000 flood victims in Pahang. She believes that showing up and taking action is one of the biggest things we can do for victims. 

Queen also wants to ensure safety and hygiene for victims by providing them with fresh supplies and practicing SOP guidelines in rescue centers.

King On Line Of Duty

Like her majesty, Yang di-Pertuan Agong  Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah also showed up for line of duty. He, along with the Queen, visited more than one rescue facility, schools, hospitals and other organizations. They took hours of their time to meet flood victims who are battling with deep loss in the rage of COVID-19

He met victims in five relief centres – SK Ulu Sungai, Batu Malim Women’s Activity Centre, Kampung Sega Lama Hall, SK Muhammad Jabar, Dong and Kampung Pamah Kulat Community Hall, Ulu Dong in Raub, Pahang.

In a profound, heartfelt statement from Agong, an urgency for immediate rescue efforts and proactive relief aids was noted. He was quick to remind all Malaysians to adhere to SOP’s no matter how difficult it is. This was to ensure no new clusters form as it would spell a new catastrophe in the height of the flood disaster in Malaysia.

King prioritized the need for extreme rescue team efforts, while maintaining SOP’s that are set by the health ministry. He also expressed his warmest regards and sympathies and called on all Malaysians to pray. It was a reminder that the monarchy of Malaysia is here to sustain people in difficult times. On the same note, he expressed his gratitude to the rescue team members, volunteers and government departments who have been tirelessly working round the clock to extend help to all.

Agong and Raja Permaisuri were not the only royal members to make an inspiring appearance on the front line. Regent of Pahang Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah and Tengku Panglima Raja Tengku Amir Nasser Ibrahim Shah were also seen. 

A Preventable Disaster 

We Have Been Warned: AllSight Malaysia

The king and Queen’s warmth was a much needed presence, especially after the utter disappointment the rakyat felt in their political system. The system that vowed to protect was the first to let people down by ignoring a clear warning of a flood disaster ahead. 

Social media resurfaced a video of Nurul Izzah, the MP of Permatang Puah in Pahang, raising the issue of natural disaster mitigation in light of the pandemic. She highlights how the pandemic has revealed major flaws in the public health system. And goes on to mention the need for preventative measures against flood disaster in Malaysia.

At the time, the public gave no heed to the warning and unfortunately neither did the government. Even with a much later warning on Tuesday, the responses from the government were undeniably late. To people’s frustration, the government admitted to their weakness in preventing an aggravated disaster that has led to more than dozen deaths and thousands of lost homes. 

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was quick to say that all parties are equally liable for delays, including federal governments, state government and frontliners at district levels. He also said that the weakness only lies in their rescue response for Selangor.

We Have Been Warned

Malaysia’s Meteorological Department said it has been providing information and warnings since Dec 11 about the continuous rainfall that caused the massive floods and landslides around the country.

This response comes amid claims over social media that the department had failed to monitor and update the information.

MetMalaysia director-general Muhammad Helmi Abdullah said on Sunday (Dec 19) it has been frequently releasing rainfall warnings involving Terengganu, Pahang and Johor since Dec 11.

He was responding to a Facebook user who alleged on Saturday that the department had failed to provide warnings or give updated information on Typhoon Rai and Tropical Depression Twenty-Nine.

Mr Muhammad Helmi pointed out that the department had released an advisory on Typhoon Rai at 5.45am on Dec 17 the moment it entered within the country’s monitoring areas.

“This advisory was updated every three hours when the typhoon was in the country’s monitoring areas and shared through our official website.

“The latest information about the low pressure system and Typhoon Rai was also announced on TV1 twice daily at 8am through the Selamat Pagi Malaysia programme and at 5pm by weather presenters during the Berita Wilayah news.”

flood disaster in Malaysia

Aftermath

As of 22nd December, the flooding in Selangor, especially in Shah Alam has significantly subsided. Authorities have begun the tasks of pumping out the water on Tuesday. They have also begun digging new drains to decrease water level. People are seeing light as the downpour decreases, and roads begin to clear. 

Rescue efforts are still underway for people trapped in their homes, vehicles and outskirts of the city. Even though we are seeing major signs of clearance, people are still far from getting their basic necessities. They are looking for a place to eat, rest and sleep as they scrape away mud-caked pavements.

Selangor is not the only state that saw the devastating surge of floods. The National Disaster Management agency said Negeri Sembilan, Kelantan, Pahang, Melaka, Perak, Kuala Lumpur and Terengganu are also included. 

What these states witnessed over this weekend was certainly no ordinary flood. Malaysians are used to the regular heavy thunderstorm and rain. But they never expected the surge of heavy rain that would sweep away homes of more than 60,000 people. Environmentalists and activists have quoted that this was a dooming mix of  “Climate change, tropical depression and monsoon weather”, a recipe that created devastatingly extreme rainfall.

Malaysian authorities have taken note of how the rainfall has intensified over the years, yet had no equally intense preparations. In August 2021, UNICEF’s climate report also showed “Code red” for climate change induced by human activities. It is necessary for the authorities to think of long term preventative plans rather than acting on short term gains and personal interest. There is no coincidence between worsening climate change and the flood disaster in Malaysia.

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