Coalition wants Special Commission to probe recent floods

GDIMY says the govt should declare the recent floods ravaging several states in the country as a National Disaster 

by AZREEN HANI / Pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE government must authorise the formation of a Special Commission to formally investigate the recent flood disaster and the efficacy of the response actions and to recommend reparation/compensation to those negatively impacted by any negligence. 

The Climate Emergency Coalition of Malaysia (GDIMY), in a recent statement, said the government should declare the recent floods ravaging several states in the country as a National Disaster. 

“We remain deeply saddened and disappointed by the slow and ineffectual response, interagency blaming and lack of coordination across government agencies in dealing with the current flood crisis,” GDIMY said. 

“We are also very discouraged that the government has not acknowledged the climate crisis as the emergency that it is. The rakyat is awake and ready for a just transition, but are our leaders?” 

The recent floods ravaging several states such as Selangor, Pahang, Kelantan and Negri Sembilan have claimed 46 lives as of Saturday — the highest death toll due to floods in history. 

As of Saturday, the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said there are 34 temporary evacuation centres nationwide, with a total of 54,532 victims. 

Meanwhile GDIMY said the investigation on the recent floods must be read out and debated in Parliament as soon as possible in 2022, and the publication made accessible to the public. 

“The independent members of this Special Commission must comprise independent scientists and local experts on flood-related issues, representatives of the affected communities, NGOs, Disaster Risk Reduction Management experts, health professionals, and town planning and sustainability experts.” 

The coalition also demands that the federal and state governments expedite the development of a robust National Adaptation Plan with a focus on Resilience with clear targets, future scenario planning, and an implementation roadmap that covers all possible (not only probable) climate impacts holistically. 

It also demanded for deforestation, de-gazettement of forest reserves and conversion to plantation, mining or mixed development to be put to an immediate halt. 

The coalition also called for the same ban to be imposed on poorly planned development with no proper impact/risk assessments near forest reserves causing forest fragmentation,n as well as cities that have been built with low permeability to absorb rainfall, among others. 

“We demand that the federal government expedite a National Disaster Risk Reduction Plan which includes instituting nationwide cross-sectoral training in Community-based disaster risk management,” it said further. 

An independent multi-stakeholder Community Resilience Unit to oversee a nationwide programme to build community resilience in all factors should be formed too, it added.