Hold public inquiry into 2014 floods, Kit Siang tells Kelantan


(The Malaysian Insider) – The PAS-led Kelantan government should review the management of the recent floods which displaced thousands, in order to be better prepared in the event of another disaster, said a veteran DAP politician.

The party’s parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang said a public inquiry should be established to find out and document the weaknesses, lapses and failures which occurred during the December floods.

“If Putrajaya is not prepared to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the 2014 floods, then Kelantan should set up a public inquiry,” Lim said in a statement today.

The public inquiry, he added, could also take into account the experiences and knowledge of NGOs and individuals.

Besides the authorities, many volunteers, NGOs and individuals had chipped in to assist flood relief efforts and ensure that essential items reached the displaced flood victims.

More than 250,000 Malaysians in eight states had to be relocated to flood relief centres at the height of the worst flooding in the nation’s history.

Lim, the Gelang Patah MP, paid tribute to the NGOs and individuals who went out to assist the victims, saying they did an excellent job in aiding those in need.

“They played a sterling role in the catastrophe when the government failed in in all three phases of a disaster management – response, relief and reconstruction,” he said.

Lim said while the 2014 catastrophe was unavoidable, the damage could have been minimised and the loss of 25 lives could have been prevented.

He said billions of ringgit in damages caused by the floods could have been avoided if there had been better flood management measures in all three phases of response, relief and reconstruction.

Lim said the National Security Council should not attempt to cover up its weaknesses, lapses and failures in the 2014 floods by comparing it with Japan’s 2011 tsunami.

“There is just no comparison between the two,” Lim said.

“It is totally ludicrous to compare the floods to the triple disasters of the 9.0 earthquake of March 11, 2011 in Japan off Tohoku, which generated a tsunami that swept away everything in its path and caused a nuclear disaster with the meltdown of Fukushima and other nuclear plants,” Lim said.