After floods, Johor sets up climate change committee

ISKANDAR PUTERI: The multi-party Johor Climate Change and Disaster Management Committee has been formed after receiving unanimous support from the state assembly.

The motion, proposed by Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi, was passed by Deputy State Speaker Datuk Samsolbari Jamali after all 56 state assemblymen agreed to it.

The committee, chaired by Anuar Abd Manap (BN-Pemanis), consists of seven other assemblymen from the ruling party – Datuk Jefridin Atan (BN-Kukup), Datuk Zulkurnain Kamisan (BN-Sri Medan), Nor Rashidah Ramli (BN-Parit Raja), Tan Chong (BN-Bekok), Selamat Takim (BN-Sungai Balang), Fauziah Misri (BN-Penawar) and Mohamad Najib Samuri (BN-Parit Yaani).

Onn Hafiz said the other members of the committee are Balancing Force chief Chen Kah Eng (PH-Stulang), Gan Peck Cheng (PH-Penggaram), Amira Aisya Abd Aziz (Muda-Puteri Wangsa), Liow Cai Tung (PH-Johor Jaya) and Alawiyah Talib (PN-Endau).

The other two members of the committee are the state finance officer and the state assembly clerk.

“The committee will look into issues such as flash floods, stagnant floods (banjir termenung) and repeated flooding incidents when there is heavy rain.

“Its functions include looking at the laws and regulations related to climate change and disaster management as well as finding feasible initiatives and examining the effectiveness of the flood mitigation process on the district and state levels.

“Solutions will also be studied by the committee to minimise flood damage to properties and infrastructure, which includes coming up with suggestions for the relocation of victims,” he told the state assembly in Kota Iskandar here yesterday.

Another area of concern would be to find ways to improve the related departments and agencies ability to handle the impacts of climate change and floods, he added.

Onn Hafiz said the committee would also have the power to call in experts, if needed, to aid in the studies and any related research.

Meanwhile, when debating the motion, Jefridin said that climate change is not something new; it is a global issue where many studies have not only proven its negative effects, but scientists have also predicted that it will worsen in the next 20 years.

“Malaysia is also affected by climate change, where floods, flash floods, dry spells and soil erosion are common occurrences. Johor was badly hit by floods last month, with waters reaching 3m-deep, involving more than 85,000 victims.

“The floods this time around were comparable to the major 2006 floods, and they were due to an extraordinary amount of rainfall, the highest recorded in the state so far.

“Other worrying incidents include the deadly Batang Kali landslide late last year and major flooding in Selangor in December 2021,” he added.

On March 19, Onn Hafiz, who is also Machap assemblyman, proposed the setting up of the committee after state Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar reminded Johoreans to practise environmentally friendly habits, maintain cleanliness and reduce pollution.

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