Archive for December 29th, 2014

Lack of leadership in dealing with floods

By Jeswan Kaur
The Heat Online

GOING BY Putrajaya’s scramble to deal with the seasonal floods assailing the country, a quote from Abraham Lincoln comes to mind – “nearly all men can stand adversity but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power”.

For Malaysia, the true test of its leaders’ character has been revealed one too many a times and that too in the most unflattering of ways.

The classic case in point was Putrajaya’s fumbling over the March 8, 2014 disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 which exposed the government’s weaknesses the world over.

However, the embarrassment that Putrajaya brought upon Malaysia with its apathy vis-à-vis the missing MH370 flight has not taught the government the much needed lesson in “thinking before speaking”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Flood victims live off rainwater-soaked noodles

By Nazri Abdullah
Dec 29, 2014

Deprived of proper food, victims stranded in the country’s worst flood in decades have resorted to desperate measures to fill their growling stomachs.

Even those politically connected are not spared from the national disaster, which has displaced more than 225,000 people, as Annual Bakri Harun can testify.

Annual, a former political secretary to ex-Kelantan menteri besar Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, said he was forced to soak instant noodles in rain water for food.

“I have lived in the dark for the last five days and have only been eating biscuits.

“There are instant noodles, but no electricity to boil water and the stove is not working.

“Out of hunger, I was forced to collect rain water with my bare hands and pour them into the instant noodle cup. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call for RCI into Floods Disaster Management Preparedness as Federal government completely overwhelmed by scale and scope of current floods disaster with number of flood victims increasing by over 1,000% to a quarter of a million people in less than ten days

DAP calls for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the country’s Floods Disaster Management Preparedness as it is very clear that the Federal government had been completely overwhelmed by the scale and scope of the current floods disaster, with the number of flood victims increasing by over 1,000 per cent to almost a quarter of a million people in less than ten days.

Evidence of the Federal Government being overwhelmed by the magnitude of the scale and scope of the current floods disaster is aplenty, as illustrated by the following instances:

1. Admission by the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin that the floods disaster was “worse than anticipated”’;

2. Admission by Muhyiddin that the flood mitigation standard operating procedure (SOP) must be reviewed in order to be better prepared in the future;

3. Muhyiddin’s proposal that Malaysia should learn more about disaster management system of other countries, especially Japan and South Korea, as they were known to have the best disaster management system in the world – a belated and very expensive discovery by a coalition which had been in power for 57 years! Read the rest of this entry »

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In Kuala Krai floods, humanity at its best and worst

by Pathma Subramaniam
The Malay Mail Online
December 29, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 29 ― For the past 20 years at least, residents in hilly Kuala Krai have led a carefree life whenever the annual northeast monsoon blew into Kelantan and turned large areas of the state the colour of the frothy, milky beverage beloved of Malaysians called teh tarik.

Local lore has it that “if it floods in Kuala Krai, the whole of Kelantan will be underwater”, Ryonn Leong, a native, told Malay Mail Online.

But the speed and fierceness that saw the waters of Sungai Kelantan burst its banks last week caught its long-time residents off-guard; there had never been a need for a flood safety plan as the water levels in the river had not risen past the danger mark in 20 years.

“I would scoff it off when any of our friends asked about the flooding in my hometown… who would have thought, one day it would become a reality?” the 34-year-old business development manager said.

While Ryonn now lives in Kuala Lumpur, the torrential rains that lashed Kelantan has been a “nightmare” as his family ― his elderly parents, his siblings and their young children ― were marooned in Kuala Krai by the floodwaters of near biblical proportions. Read the rest of this entry »


Do ministers need to be ordered to handle the floods?

28 December 2014

How times have changed?

In 1969, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein was diagnosed with cancer and told that he had four years to live. Around the same time, Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman’s neck cancer flared up again and his heart condition worsened.

Hardly anyone knew that Malaysia’s top two leaders were on a death watch. The doctors were sworn to secrecy and they went about governing the country, implementing policies and scouting successors.

It would have been so easy and understandable if both acted in their self-interest and stood down from the 24/7 job of looking after Malaysia.

Malaysians would have understood if they had opted for a less stressful life and put their young families ahead of everyone else.

But they didn’t. Read the rest of this entry »

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Transport woes hamper aid, supplies to nearly 200,000 flood victims

The Malaysian Insider
29 December 2014

The good news: Flood waters are receding and it was not raining in Kelantan yesterday although the number of evacuees there have risen to 134,139 last night.

The bad news: Many villagers are stranded without supplies, electricity or cash to buy basics such as candles or canned food as roads remain cut off to all land transport in most parts of the state.

“It’s chaos here,” one aid worker told The Malaysian Insider as he waited to get boats to distribute drinking water, biscuits and canned food in state capital Kota Baru yesterday.

He noted that some evacuation centres there were also flooded and unable to provide food for the flood victims while others came back empty handed from evacuation centres that had run out of supplies. “No co-ordination whatsoever. No proper governance of this disaster.

“One thing I can say from ground zero, our authorities are not prepared for a national disaster. Will we ever will?” the aid worker said. Read the rest of this entry »

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4 Expert Predictions for the Global Economy in 2015

James McBride and Jeanne Park
The Atlantic
Dec 26 2014

From GDP growth in China to consumer debt in the U.S., the stories to watch next year.

As 2015 dawns, instability in Russia, stagnation in Europe, and uncertainty in China are being offset by a sharp drop in oil prices that the International Monetary Fund says could boost global economic growth by as much as 0.8 percent above the expected 3.8 percent.

The United States “faces a debt reckoning,” writes Guardian finance and economics editor Heidi Moore. U.S. consumer debt worth $3.2 trillion and the resurgence of subprime lending are both danger signs for an economy that otherwise appears to be on the mend.

Europe too could face trouble in 2015 without major structural reform, argues the Council on Foreign Relations’ Robert Kahn. Growth and investment remain low, unemployment is “sky-high,” and early elections could once again put Greece “on a collision course with the rest of Europe.”

China, which is in the midst of a delicate rebalancing act, will de-emphasize GDP growth in favor of structural, financial, and energy reform, writes the Paulson Institute’s Damien Ma.

Finally, CFR’s Edward Alden foresees that 2015 could see “breakthroughs in global trade liberalization.” U.S.-led trade agreements with both Asia and Europe promise to boost growth, although they face significant obstacles at home and abroad. Read the rest of this entry »

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Flood victims top 200,000, K’tan worst hit

From Tweets on Kelantan Floods – 28.12.2014

1. Everything seems to be running out in Kota Bahru. Latest is helicopter fuel – resulting in several helicopters stranded at KB Heli hangar.

2. Helped in flood victim relief in Kota Bahru town. Visited Jln Gajah Mati and Jln Kubor Kuda area near riverfront. Shocking water chest-high.

3. Families in heart of town completely stranded become quite inaccessible, with speed of water current making roads quite treacherous rivers.

4. Wading through road-turned-river with treacherous currents unforgettable experience. Area visited full of shops restaurants hotels all shuttered.

5. Firefly could not fly all 101 cartons of supplies DAP Penang prepared for Kota Bahru – only transport 15 trolleys of 94 cartons of necessities. 16 cartons to go tonight. Read the rest of this entry »

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