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Independent inquiry into the inhumanity, greed and criminality during monster floods to ensure no recurrence
(Parliament, Saturday) : The monster floods have claimed seven lives four in Segamat, two in Kluang and one in Kota Tinggi.
The dead were Ahmad Sarkawi, 70, Marsiah Ahmad, 69, Nor Azahari Nordin, 28) and Teh Sook Ching, 61 in Segamat, M. Mageswari, 26, a teacher, and A. Muniandy, 59, in Kluang and Ow Kee Heng, 60s, in Kota Tinggi.
Some 80,000 people have been forced to abandon their homes by the floods which have hit six states, with Johore the worst hit, followed by Malacca, Pahang, Negri Sembilan, Kelantan and Terengganu.
The Meteorological Department has issued a Red Stage warning to Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Negri Sembilan, Malacca, as well as southern Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, warning people to expect heavy rains and to brace for emergencies.
Coupled with the ravages of nature, horror stories about inhumanity and human greed have been emanating from Johore, particularly Segamat. The ugly and criminal side of human nature have blotted many acts of heroism, generosity and selflessness demonstrated by Malaysians of all races during the tragic floods.
After the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak explained why the authorities were caught off-guard by the massive floods in Johore.
He said: It is difficult to forecast the weather. We had expected areas in the East Coast to be hit by floods. We never expected Johor to be the most affected.
Najib was however contradicted by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry, Prof Datuk Dr. Mohd Ruddin Abdul Ghani who told the Dewan Negara yesterday that the Department of Meteorology had forecast the current unusual heavy rain that had caused floods in southern Peninsular Malaysia, based on the recent weather phenomenon.
Mohd Ruddin said these forecasts were made based not only on sophisticated technology available at the department but also with the help of forecasts and data from the meteorological centres of other countries, including the United States, Japan and China.
If Mohd Ruddin is right, then there was no reason for the government to be caught off-guard by the massive floods in Johore, which had been compounded by a total breakdown of crisis management.
A full and independent inquiry into the monster floods in southern Peninsular Malaysia and the horror stories of inhumanity, greed and incompetence is clearly warranted to ensure that there would be no recurrence.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman