KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian experts will be engaged by the Government to determine the causes of recent floods and how to mitigate them in future, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
“The issue has been raised in the Cabinet and we have decided we must know the factors that caused the disaster,” said Najib at the official launch of Menara Razak at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) here yesterday.
He said the Government believed there was sufficient local expertise to conduct the relevant studies.
“We want our experts to guide the Government on what needs to be done both in terms of mitigation as well as sustainable development,” he said.
Bouts of flooding in peninsular Malaysia displaced up to 250,000 persons recently, with the bulk of them in the east coast states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang.
Najib said multi-pronged solutions might be needed, such as ensuring the mitigation measures had something built within them that could also give economic returns or other benefits.
Citing a hydroelectric dam as an example, Najib said the dam could help authorities manage a river’s peak flows, while at the same time generate electricity.
“These are examples of how universities can provide input and recommendations to the Government,” said Najib, who also acknowledged that changes must be made on how development was promoted in the country.
Stringent enforcement is also part of the solution, with the premier saying that there needs to be heightened enforcement on illegal land clearing and deforestation.
“If we fail to carry out stricter enforcement, the end result is we will be faced with other calamities,” he said.
On a more personal note, Najib, on behalf of his family, expressed gratitude to UTM for honouring his late father Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, who served as the country’s second prime minister.
The RM91mil Menara Razak consists of 17 floors housing UTM’s administrative unit along with new schools equipped with modern facilities.