Floods: Orang Asli villagers on edge every time it rains

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 29 Dec 2021

HULU LANGAT: Villagers in Kampung Orang Asli Paya Lebar here are still traumatised by their ordeal during the floods recently and are on tenterhooks every time it rains.

Villagers had to scramble for safety as the water rose to frightening levels that fateful night on Dec 18.

Saidi Anak Manap, 45, had just eaten his dinner after returning from work when water levels began to rise.

“It happened so fast and all I could think of was the safety of my family members, especially the children.

“After 8pm, we had no electrical supply and the whole village was completely dark,” he said when met at the village during the General Operations Force’s (GOF) post-flood operation on Wednesday (Dec 28)

The police, through the GOF, distributed aid – including clean water – for villagers.

When the water reached knee level, Saidi said he and his family members had to wade through the water in the dark – and carry the children at the same time – to reach higher ground.

“It was a harrowing experience. We may have lost all our belongings but at least all of us are safe,” he added.

Village committee chairman Aba Chahim, 53, who has lived there all his life, said it was the worst flood he ever experienced.

“All the villagers are deeply traumatised by the recent floods.

“There are more than 250 people living here and we are in fear every time it rains,” he said.

He said he hoped authorities would expedite efforts to deepen the nearby river as well repair a bridge in the village.

GOF Brigade Tengah commander Senior Asst Comm Muhammad Abdul Halim said a total of 384 police officers and personnel have been assigned to the Hulu Langat flood tactical base (Martak) for flood relief operations.

“Various agencies, including the Fire and Rescue Department, Armed Forces as well as NGOs (non-governmental organisations) are operating from the base,” he said during a press conference at the base on Wednesday.

SAC Muhammad said various flood relief operations have been conducted since the beginning of the floods, including saving flood victims and those trapped in landslides.

“Officers and personnel were also deployed for post-flood cleaning-up operations in Hulu Langat and Shah Alam.

“We carry out at least six flood relief operations daily, including distributing clean water, cleaning schools and residences as well as sending food and necessities to victims,” he said, adding that they also assist NGOs by escorting them to flood-hit areas.

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