PUTRAJAYA: Efforts are underway to create greater awareness and a better understanding of disaster risks among Malaysians through the soon-to-be launched National Risk Register.
A policy is also being drafted to better prepare the country to face disasters, including putting in place initiatives to reduce risks, enhance human capacity, and expand mitigation measures and the use of technology.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (pic) said the National Risk Register is an initiative by the National Disaster Management Agency to educate the public about disasters in Malaysia and the risks they pose. He will launch the register on Oct 28.
“The plan is to expand strategies, plans, actions and programmes in the National Risk Register to all sectors, such as development, economy, education and health,” he said in his keynote address at a webinar on “Disaster Risks in the Era of Climate Change”.
These initiatives, he added, were in line with global instruments such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Paris Agreement on climate change to achieve Sustainable Development Goals aspirations.
The Prime Minister said that data showed the disastrous effect of climate change and its correlation with disaster patterns, including the frequency and magnitude of disasters.
He added that the World Disasters Report 2020 was concerning as there were 100 disasters around the world in the first six months of the Covid-19 pandemic. Of this, 99% of the disaster incidents were the result of extreme weather.
These disasters affected more than 50 million people.
Ismail Sabri spoke about the gravity of disasters and the challenges to rebuild post-disaster in his speech at the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Malaysia, he noted, experienced environmental disasters such as the mudflow incident in Gunung Jerai, Kedah, floods in Sabah and landslides in Selangor.
“The government gives serious attention to the impact of climate change and the increase in impact of disasters. This emphasis is one of the strategies that was laid out in the 12th Malaysia Plan which I tabled recently,” he said.
Ismail Sabri added that with studies showing that the impact of disasters can be reduced through initiatives such as public awareness, the government will put in place communication, education and public awareness initiatives.
“This is the key towards creating a culture of shared responsibility to reduce disaster risks. This can be achieved through an educational approach by sharing experiences, and encouraging the young to bring about changes to create a community that is resilient against disasters.”