I have abandoned the idea of discussing and persuading the two MCA Ministers to support in Cabinet a declaration of emergency over floods catastrophe as MCA National Vice President has publicly declared opposition to emergency declaration yesterday

I have abandoned the idea of discussing and persuading the two MCA Ministers to support in Cabinet on Wednesday a declaration of emergency over floods catastrophe as the MCA National Vice President, Datuk Hou Kok Chung has publicly declared opposition to an emergency declaration in Kota Bharu yesterday.

Hou claims that there is no need for an emergency, especially as the worst of the floods catastrophe is over.

Hou and the MCA Ministers and leadership are entitled to their views, but it is most disappointing that there are political leaders, including Ministerial-level politicians, who cannot think outside the box, and are tied down to obsolete thinking and attitudes which undermine their effectiveness as leaders capable of helping the people to save lives and minimize losses to property especially in a disaster like the worst floods catastrophe in recent decades which caused the evacuation of a quarter of million people to the various relief centres or easily a total of a million people to include all who had not gone to the relief centres as well as suffering financial or economic losses from the floods

There should not only be a state of emergency for the floods catastrophe in the states affected, not only during the times when the rise of the floods water were fiercest, but equally important, after the waters have receded in order to facilitate the resolution of the many huge post-flood challenges and dangers, viz:

  • the cleaning up of the flood-stricken areas, as all towns and villages are now covered with mud which require a gargantuan clean-up operation of public properties, private houses and businesses.
  • The mass and quick construction of temporary houses or shelters for the tens of thousands of flood victims who have been made homeless as a result of the destruction of their houses;
  • Effective measures to prevent the outbreak of diseases as a result of the floods;
  • Assisting the flood victims to start their businesses and life anew, in the shortest possible time – including the giving of interest-free loans ranging from RM1,000 to RM250,000 to every flood victim whose business, big or small, had been destroyed by the floods;
  • The repair of all the infrastructure damages to roads, bridges and public institutions caused by the floods catastrophe.

A state of emergency should not only be declared for the flood-ravaged states, there should also be a Royal Commission of Inquiry to ascertain the weaknesses and failures of the National Flood Disaster Management, Relief and Mitigation Preparations and Plans, so that Malaysia can be more effective preparing for future flood disasters without the grave toll on human lives and gargtantuan loss of property, which has been estimated to be at least RM1 billion from the current floods disaster.

However, for reasons best known to themselves, the MCA Ministers and national leadership are opposed not only to the idea of a declaration of emergency for the flood-afflicted states, but also against a Royal Commission of Inquiry to pinpoint the faults and failures in the National Floods Disaster Preparations Plan, as the National Security Council which has the overall national responsibility for national disasters, seemed to have been completely caught offguard and unprepared to face the severity, scope and scale of the floods disaster this year.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah