Warning for flood preparations came 2 months ago, says armed forces chief

(Malaysia Now) – The order for the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) to be prepared for flood operations came from the top level two months ago, Malaysian Armed Forces chief Affendi Buang said today.

“The instruction to get ready came from the top two months ago, so when the water starting rising, I did not wait.

“If I get my people and assets there, I will save the people first, what is there to wait,” he said at a media conference on flood operations in Taman Sri Muda, Shah Alam.

He was replying to allegations that MAF had gone down to assist flood victims without the approval of the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma).

Admitting that the disaster situation was initially haphazard, Affendi said this would happen during a crisis anywhere.

“Even in the US, when the typhoon occurred they also faced the same problems. But it does not mean coming to a full stop, we have to improve from here,” he added.

“Of course on the first day, the situation was chaotic but if everybody puts in effort together and does their work, we can resolve it and fewer people will suffer.”

He also said that in times of emergency like this, all parties should cooperate.

During times of disaster, he said, there is no one correct system. The only way is for everyone to work together, he added.

He also said MAF was prepared to face the monsoon season which usually causes floods in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Johor.

“I wish to remind that for the floods, I think we have to be prepared. The worst is not over. The monsoon is not here yet, it has not reached Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Johor which are the traditional areas… So our men are all there to make sure that if anything happens they will be in place,” he said.