Email to Najib asking for meeting before Wednesday’s Cabinet on five important measures to deal with worst floods in recent decades, including the formation of a Barisan Nasional-Pakatan Rakyat Floods Catastrophe Joint Action Council
Before 9 pm last night, I sent an email to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak asking for a meeting before Wednesday’s Cabinet on five important measures to deal with the worst floods in recent decades, including the formation of a Barisan Nasional-Pakatan Rakyat Floods Catastrophe Joint Action Council.
The floods catastrophe in the past fortnight – which the Prime Minister only realized was a major catastrophe and that Gua Musang and Kuala Krai were among the two worst-hit areas on the fourth day of his return from Hawaii – is a major national disaster and saw the best quality of all Malaysians.
This was the ability of Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, politics, gender or age to unite and come to the aid of the flood victims – with a quarter of a million people evacuated to the relief centres and easily a million of the total number of people affected by the floods catastrophe.
The costs of the floods catastrophe has been estimated at RM1 billion, and still counting – with the Meteorological Department warning that although the worst of the second wave of the floods catastrophe seemed to be over, a third wave of the monsoon surge is expected to begin on Jan 7 or 8, with possible continuous heavy rainfall up to three days over certain states, especially in Johor, Sabah and Sarawak.
The formation of a Barisan Nasional-Pakatan Rakyat Floods Catastrophe Joint Action Council will formalize what is already happening on the ground in the various flood-stricken states with regard to the flood relief efforts being rendered by Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat parties and members to the flood victims, regardless of race, religion or state in the past fortnight.
The National Security Council (NSC) has officially said that the massive flood that hit Kelantan was the worst in the history of the state.
The NSC secretary Datuk Mohamed Thajudeen Abdul Wahab in a statement said water levels of the recent floods superseded the floods of 1967.
According to the council’s report, the water level of Sungai Kelantan at Tambatan DiRaja, which has a danger level of 25 metres, reached 34.17 metres last month compared to 29.70 metres in 2004 and 33.61 metres in 1967.
The levels at Tangga Krai, which has a danger level of 5 metres, reached 7.03 metres compared to 6.70 metres in 2004 and 6.22 metres in 1967.
Thajuddin had already previously claimed that the current Kelantan floods were abnormal, describing it as “a one in 1,000 years event”.
However, the Deputy Mentri Besar of Kelantan Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah is on public record as saying that the current floods in was not as bad as in 1967.
Be that as it may, though claiming that the current floods are the worst in Kelantan history, Thajuddeen conspicuously omitted reference to the “red flood” (bah merah) in Kelantan in January 1926, which is regarded as the worst-ever floods to hit Kelantan, which inundated all parts of the state with flood waters which were reddish in colour, a departure from the usual milk tea or brown-coloured water caused by the many landslides following 10 days of non-stop heavy rain.
Thajudeen should clarify, but the priority issue at present is not to point fingers of blame or make claims, which should be left to a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the floods catastrophe.
The immediate task and top priority is to ensure effective Floods Disaster Mitigation and Relief Management Plans to be carried out for the worst possible scenario under the third wave of the monsoon surges expected on Jan. 7 or 8 and to ensure that all victims of the floods catastrophe especially in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang are able to start life anew and return to normalcy in the shortest possible time – in a period of two months and not “at least six months”.
For this reason, I have emailed the Prime Minister for a meeting before Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting to present a five-point proposal, viz:
* the declaration of a state of emergency for the flood-stricken states;
* the formation of a BN-PR Joint Action Council on Floods Catastrophe;
* Convening of a Special Parliament this month on the Floods Catastrophe which can also discuss the deferment of the implementation of GST so as not to add further burdens on the flood victims;
* Doubling of the RM500 million allocation for relief of flood victims to RM1 billion to enable every flood victim whose livelihood/business had been wiped out by the floods catastrophe to apply for interest free loans, ranging from RM1,000 to RM250,l000 to start life and business anew, and
* Establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the weaknesses and failures of the Floods Disaster Preparations Plans to provide relief and help to the flood victims of the current floods catastrophe.