Declare state of emergency now

– Dr. Tan Eng Bee
The Malaysian Insider
30 December 2014

I agree with the expert opinion that the powers-that-be should have declared a state of emergency for the affected states in the worst floods in history. This flood is unlike previous floods as the damage and destruction affected about a third of the peninsula’s land mass or more in my estimation, and that is cause for concern.

The devastation is so disastrous and serious by all counts. Unless an emergency is declared as soon as possible to allow government agencies and NGOs to work towards bringing reliefs to the people who are already suffering from the wet condition and in dire need of food and water, I am afraid the misery and anguish of the affected masses would intensified and surpassed all previous floods.

Despite the authorities telling the masses not to believe everything in social media, the fact remains the poor coordination of the various agencies bringing humanitarian aid, such as food and water and other supplies, has not reached many affected areas and the cries for help are still being heard far and wide across the nation.

Whether we want to believe it or not, we have reached a critical and dangerous stage where the welfare of the affected people is threatened and every form of humanitarian aid and resources must now be geared towards bringing food and water and other form of relief to relief centres without delay.

If we cannot reach them by road, then we have no alternative but to reach them by air.

We know that many villages in the affected states have not being reached and relief personnel must work towards reaching them to see what form of help is required. We also do not know how many lives have been were lost the past few days, except what was reported. May they hold on tightly wherever they may be and to stay safe while help is on the way.

I call upon private enterprises which have the means to chip in and help the authorities to see how best they can assist in bringing relief to the affected areas. There is no need to wait for appeal but to act without having to be compelled to do so.

If there is a need to appeal to our friends in Asean, there is no shame asking them to come in to assist as humanitarian efforts know no boundary or barrier. We have done for others in their needs before and this is the time where we would expect them to return the same in our needs.

A great prophet once said, “no one has greater love than to give up one’s life for his friends”. I hope this saying will bring home what we have to do as one to another without having to be compelled or coerced but to do it willingly.

I am happy to note that many NGOs, religious organisations, people and concerned parties across the land are coming in to assist and we should see a much improved situation in the days to come but it would be better if a state of emergency is declared for the sole purpose of speedy and better coordinated effort to bring relief to the affected areas as soon as possible.

As a nation we are standing and coming together regardless of our ethnicity, political differences and religious affiliation to bring our resources together to assist in whatever way we can to the affected.

This is the time where we are coming together as one, united and allied for the sole purpose of helping the unfortunate ones. This is what neighbourliness and comradeship is all about when we offer a cup of water to the needy.

Love knows no boundary and wants to reach and touch others in their needs and predicament. We are full pledged Malaysians ready to help our fellow Malaysians under distress and hardship.

The ball is at the feet of the authorities to do the right thing at a time like this where a state of emergency is just a natural course of action.

Time is not on our side as the unpredictable weather can deteriorate further without warning. We just have to be prepared for any eventuality that warrant strong leadership at the highest level to steer and to see that what needs to be done is done. – December 30, 2014.

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