Torrential rain has caused massive flash floods in numerous Malaysian states, leaving at least seventeen dead, around ten missing and forcing over 41,000 Malaysians to abandon their submerged homes in a desperate search for safety and sustenance.
Last Friday (17th December), a heavy downpour began over several Malaysian states which include Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Kelantan, Pahang, Melaka, and Terengganu. It is believed that the neighbourhood district, Taman Sri Muda, located in Shah Alam, the state capital of Selangor, has had the worst end of this disaster as four were found dead and many are still trapped in their homes and apartment buildings. The floods have left many families displaced, homes destroyed and material possessions damaged.
The flood has been labelled a ‘once in a 100 years’ phenomenon and the Centre for Governance and Political Studies (Cent-GPS), a Malaysia-based behavioural and social science research firm has attributed the heavy rainfall due to the excessive carbon in our atmosphere which consequently has made it difficult for climatologists to predict the weather accurately. Additionally, the Malaysian Meteorological Department has issued a late statement saying that the 36 hours of rain had stemmed from the strongest storm of the year, the Super Typhoon Rai which had pummeled the Philippines one week prior.
During the early stages, rescue efforts were hindered due to the lack of boats and manpower. The lack of instructions given by authorities also delayed the response of the local police force. The floods have put a strain on the country’s emergency services and footage of submerged vehicles, massive sinkholes located on highways and landslides have been going viral on social media. The damage done has been speculated to exceed RM200 million, though official estimates have yet to be determined due to the ongoing struggle.
The reputation of the four-month-old Malaysian government is also in hot water as netizens nationwide began slandering the ‘delayed’ and ‘futile’ actions implemented by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob and his cabinet. On Saturday (18th December), a news conference was held at 11 pm by Prime Minister Dato' Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob, where he addressed the situation. Simultaneously, photographs of the PM officiating party meetings were being disseminated across Twitter, further infuriating netizens across the country. On Sunday (19th December), he announced an initial fund of RM100 million to repair houses and infrastructure damaged by the floods, while further stating that the flood-hit households would be compensated 1,000 ringgit each.
As the waters rose, many citizens took matters into their own hands with various non-governmental and nonprofit organizations aiding the effort. As the hashtag, #Kitajagakita went viral on social media, an increasing number of Malaysians began setting up donation drives to deliver necessities to flood victims who are left with next to nothing. You too can be the change you want to see in the world. We need your help.
In response to this emergency, FreeMakan.com together with UPLIFT (Pertubuhan Bangkit) and BAC Education Group have launched the Klang Valley Flood Relief 2021 Campaign in less than 24 hours after the floods. As flood victims seek safety in temporary shelters, let us join hands to help bring them immediate relief. You can help by donating to:
PERTUBUHAN BANGKIT (UPLIFT ORGANIZATION)
Account Number: 564342627846
For cash donations, please indicate “Klang Valley Flood Relief” in the recipient reference section and send proof of donation to Moo on 014-2315528.
If you would like to lend a hand to those affected by these devastating floods, AsiaHeroes.org is currently carrying out Malaysia Flood Relief efforts. AsiaHeroes.org is a platform connecting active volunteers to inspiring causes. They are in need of volunteers to help carry out cleaning efforts in the neighbourhoods affected by the floods. They also need volunteers who can help them distribute and pack essential items.
The clean-ups will be taking place at:
If you are interested in volunteering or collaborating with AsiaHeroes.org, you may contact:
Ms. Jinie: 016-778 8625
Mr. Arivinth: 018-989 6153
Dr. Malar: 012-239 6547
Mr. Kumar: 012-6039321 By Deborah Chan De Paula