Were December floods in Selangor partially caused by negligence?

  • Letters Premium
  • Thursday, 06 Jan 2022

THE December 2021 floods in Selangor, especially those that hit Taman Sri Muda, Shah Alam, were a national tragedy.

While many argue that it was not a tragedy that could have been avoided, due to Tropical Depression 29W forming and moving over West Malaysia, creating unusually heavy rains, there is also a human factor that made that situation worse.

First of all, there is the issue of the sluice gates and pumps that are part of Taman Sri Muda's flood mitigation system.

The floodwaters could not recede because the pumps were not working and the sluice gate could not be opened.

This is not a new or sudden issue; As early as October 2021, the Adun for Kota Kemuning, YB V. Ganabatirau already pointed out that one of Taman Sri Muda's floodwater pumps was missing.

To this day, the Pakatan Selangor state government is unable to sufficiently explain why the pump was missing.

Taman Sri Muda had to resort to temporary pumps, and even punching gaps in the embankment to let the water out, which is the last resort.

Secondly, it is clear that the alert was not raised in time.

While there is much need for a comprehensive national flood alert system, flood-prone areas should be warned as early as possible for residents to pack up their valuables and leave for high ground.

But this is not the first time Taman Sri Muda has flooded, and yet the local authorities failed to warn them in time.

Thirdly, there is the problem with Nadma failing to properly coordinate rescue efforts with the local authorities until our brave soldiers decided to move in and conduct rescue work without Nadma's orders.

This sort of mess up warrants a Royal Commission of Inquiry, and yet all we have heard since about the Nadma issue is silence.

Finally, both the federal and Selangor state governments must be put under pressure to answer: Why were so many rescue operations carried out by NGOs and volunteers?

While we salute their brave actions, such work should not be carried out by them, but by the government.

And yet, government agencies appeared late at the scenes.

The eerie silence from all parties since the floods is the most disturbing part.

BN Federal Territories Youth once again insists that all these human errors that happened during the Selangor floods be addressed and properly explained, not merely just to pin the blame, but also to ensure that such chaos does not happen again during the next major floods.

CHRIS DANIEL WONG , BN Federal Territories Youth information chief

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