Archive for December 31st, 2014

Insurance regulator confirms emergency declaration won’t affect payout for floods

Malay Mail Online
December 31, 2014 04:41 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — Despite Putrajaya’s argument, Malaysia’s insurance regulator has confirmed insurance firms will not be absolved of liability in paying out compensation for flood claims filed if a state of emergency were declared.

The General Insurance Association of Malaysia (Piam) said its member companies must process the claims so long as flood is an “insured peril”.

While standard motor and fire insurance policies exclude coverage against losses caused by natural catastrophes, PIAM said that the option to cover disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis and typhoons, cover for flood-related loss or damage, can be purchased as an extension to the policies.

“All policyholders, both businesses and individuals, located at the flood-stricken areas are therefore advised to check their fire and motor policies to determine whether they are covered for loss or damage resulting from the floods,” Piam, which is made up of 29 insurance firms, said in a statement emailed today.

“Piam would like to advise the public to review their insurance policies with their insurers or insurance agents to establish if the cover provided is sufficient to mitigate any serious financial impact due to flood losses and damages,” it said. Read the rest of this entry »


In Kelantan floods, unsung heroes emerge

by Anisah Shukry
The Malaysian Insider
31 December 2014

The flood that engulfed several areas in Kelantan the past week has left a trail of destruction and misery, but harrowing reports of altruism and bravery have also emerged as ordinary Malaysians step up to the task of helping out their fellow men.

Teacher Muhammad Apandi Hashim, 46, spent the first night of the floods in his 3.5m boat, manoeuvring through electric poles in the dark through the rushing water to rescue countless villagers in Tanah Merah who were beyond the reach of official rescue teams.

The first pair he rescued that Wednesday evening were his neighbour’s elderly parents, who were stranded in a village about an hour away from his house.

“I was all prepared to evacuate my house with my family, when my neighbour asked me if I could pick up his parents with my boat. When people ask for help like that, how can you refuse?” he told The Malaysian Insider when met at his house in Kampung Cherang Lali, Tanah Merah, yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »

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A wretched, horrendous year, with little cheer

31 December 2014

2014 has been a wretched and horrendous year for Malaysia, with very little spots of sunny cheer for Malaysians. All 52 weeks have seen us angry and sad – not quite the happy Malaysia Truly Asia that we portray in tourism advertisements.

Grief has been Malaysia’s main point of unity – from the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on March 8 to flight MH17 that was shot out of the sky on July 17 to the tragic crash of AirAsia Bhd Indonesian affiliate’s flight QZ8501 on December 28, in the last days of the year.

Three commercial plane crashes linked to Malaysia in just a year – what are the chances of that?

And while that dominated the headlines, there has been other events that added to Malaysia’s grief. Statistics showed that 189 people died of dengue so far this year, up from 95 in 2013. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kuala Krai devastated by floods

– The Malaysian Insider/Bernama
31 December 2014

Like a place attacked by a giant bird or the ancient ‘garuda’. This is the description of the severe destruction caused by the floods in several villages in the district of Kuala Krai.

It also gives a reminder of the tsunami tragedy that occurred in 2004 when one looks at the damage suffered by the villagers.

In Sungai Durian, several houses totally collapsed after the the village was submerged by the floods on December 23 and forced the residents to seek shelter at evacuation centres.

Rosmaria Ghazali, 34, could only cry when seeing her home submerged up to the roof, her house and furniture totally ruined. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Najib only realised that the floods disaster is a “major catastrophe” on the fourth day his return from Hawaii and why he had not visited the two worst-hit areas of Gua Musang and Kuala Krai last Saturday?

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, said after his visit to Gua Musang and Kuala Krai yesterday that the floods disaster is a “disaster” or even “major catastrophe”, describing Gua Musang and Kuala Krai as two of the worst-hit districts in Kelantan.

I have been brooding over the Prime Minister’s comments since reading them on online news portals yesterday evening, and the question which kept returning to my mind was why the Prime Minister had not visited the two worst-hit flood-damaged areas when he rushed back from Hawaii last Saturday on 27th December.

Was the Prime Minister misled by the National Security Council (NSC), which gave the Prime Minister a special briefing on the floods situation when Najib arrived at the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport, Pengkalan Chepa, Kota Bharu at 1.40 pm last Saturday?

I would imagine that the Prime Minister would have wanted to visit the worst-hit flood-damaged areas on his immediate return from Hawaii.

Did the NSC withhold the information from the Prime Minister that Gua Musang and Kuala Krai were the two worst-hit areas, or did the Prime Minister decide on his own not to visit the two worst-hit areas of Gua Musang and Kuala Krai to bring immediate reliefs and comfort to the stranded people in Gua Musang and Kuala Krai?

Or was the NSC at the time unaware that Gua Musang and Kuala Krai were the two worst-hit flood areas, as the NSC in its statement yesterday admitted that there was a “complete collapse” of its chain of command and communications at the district level in Kelantan and Terengganu when the NSC “front-liners”, the village headmen and district officers, fell victim to the floods? Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysians must stay strong, hopeful and confident despite a year of great adversities with three air disasters, worst floods disaster in decades and the rise of bigotry and extremism to build a common, united, moderate and prosperous future for all Malaysians

2015 New Year Message

    It is so easy to give way to despair at the tides of adversity Malaysians have to go through in 2014 and to write off the future for Malaysia – the unprecedented three air disasters in a year (MH370, MH17 and QZ8501) which no other country had ever had to experience, the worst floods disaster in recent decades and the rise of bigotry and extremism putting to the ultimate test the Merdeka and Malaysia national compacts of 1957 and 1963 to be an oasis of multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural harmony, tolerance and co-existence in an increasingly troubled and fractious world.

    Every cloud has a silver lining and this holds true for the adversities Malaysians had to undergo in 2014 – the air disasters and the worst floods disaster in decades galvanizing Malaysians to stand in sympathy, support and solidarity with the victims and the aggrieved and the rise of moderates, best exemplified by the Open Letter by 25 Eminent Malays to the Prime Minister and the snowballing of support by ordinary moderate Malaysians regardless of race, religion, politics or region to save Malaysia from the bigots and extremists.

    Malaysians must stay strong, hopeful and confident despite a year of great adversities with three air disasters, the worst floods disaster in decades and the rise of bigotry and extremism to build a common, united, moderate and prosperous future for all Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »


10 questions about the AirAsia Flight QZ8501 tragedy

By Laura Smith-Spark and Ashley Fantz, CNN
December 30, 2014

(CNN) — The discovery of debris from AirAsia Flight QZ8501 means investigators have taken a big step toward answering the questions haunting the families of those aboard the doomed plane. What are the key questions, and what might come next?

What caused the plane to crash?

It’s the million-dollar question. And as yet, nobody knows. Ahead lies a possibly months-long investigation into what happened after the Airbus A320-200 lost contact with air traffic control early Sunday.

Shortly beforehand, the pilot requested permission to turn and climb to a higher altitude because of bad weather, according to Indonesian officials.

Some experts have said the aircraft might have experienced an aerodynamic stall because of a lack of speed or from flying at too sharp an angle to get enough lift.

Analysts have also said that the pilots might not have been getting information from onboard systems about the plane’s position or that rain or hail from thunderstorms in the area could have damaged the engines.

The key to understanding what happened is likely to be contained in the aircraft’s cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder, commonly known as black boxes.

“Until we get the black boxes, we won’t know what’s going on with the engines,” Bill Savage, a former pilot with 30 years of experience, told CNN. Read the rest of this entry »