PM: Malaysia keen to learn flood management from Netherlands

Fruitful talks: Ismail Sabri meeting Rutte during the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. — Bernama

NEW YORK: Malaysia wants to tap the Netherlands’ experience in flood management to see if it can be applied to mitigate floods in Malaysia, says the Prime Minister.

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the Dutch had long been considered experts in this field and Malaysia could learn from the former’s experience.

He said this was among the issues he discussed with his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte during their meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

“We hope to gain advice from them so that we can minimise the effects of floods,” he told the Malaysian media.

Due to its low elevation – about two thirds of its area is vulnerable to flooding – thus flood control is crucial in the Netherlands.

Ismail Sabri said Malaysia and the Netherlands had agreed to boost trade relations between both countries, pointing out the latter was the biggest palm oil importer in Europe.

On the issue of MH17, the Prime Minister had informed Rutte that Malaysia’s next move would be made known after the trial in a Dutch court reached its verdict in November.

He said Malaysia did not want to “jump the gun” and make known its next course before the verdict.

“There have been attempts by certain countries, including the Netherlands and Australia, to rope in Malaysia to accuse Russia for its involvement in the case,” he said.

According to reports, verdicts in the Dutch trial in absentia of three Russians and a Ukrainian charged with involvement in the downing of MH17 are expected to be delivered on Nov 17.

The trial started on March 9, 2020, and an international team of investigators and prosecutors named four suspects – Russians Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy and Oleg Pulatov as well as Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko.

They are charged with murdering all who had died in the tragedy.

MH17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down by a missile fired from territory held by pro-Russian rebels during fighting with Ukrainian government troops, international investigators said.

All 298 people on board were killed in the July 17, 2014 incident, two-thirds of them Dutch nationals.

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