Malaysia floods: Minister faces online anger for his comments

A collapsed house is seen next to a river affected by floods at Hulu Langat, near Kuala Lumpur, on Dec 22, 2021. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Environment and Water Minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man has landed in hot water after claiming that the public did not take weather forecasts seriously following the recent floods.

Malaysians online did not take too kindly to Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim's comments on Friday (Dec 24). He had also said the public's attitude resulted in many being unprepared for the natural disaster.

Several on social media questioned the government's lack of preparation and action in the days leading up to the floods and told the minister to not shift the blame to the people.

Facebook user Azhari Bin Misban Azri said if the government already knew the extent of the forecasts, then they should have mobilised the relevant authorities to help, at least two days prior to the incident.

"But instead, the floods have already taken place, the victims were stranded for several days. Only then do they come. Yet, the people are blamed again," he said.

User @yongjie_ho said if the government indeed knew what was going to happen based on the weather warnings, some form of preventive measures should have been taken, saying: "(They) could have used some sandbags or whatnot to block the river".

Berita Harian on Friday (Dec 24) reported that Mr Tuan Ibrahim saying that the public does not take weather forecasts and warnings seriously with many taking the warnings for granted as they thought floods only occurred in the East Coast region of the peninsula.

On Facebook, Nurul Hidayah said that the government should have been more aggressive in disseminating the information through social media, television, radio and other means, "just like how they urged the people to go out and vote during the election season".

Syahir Manaf said the government did not use the proper channels to warn the people.

"They should have used SMS by MKN (National Security Council) but there wasn't any. They can't expect people to watch the local television network. Before the great flood took place, not one weather forecast or advice was given through the SMS," he added.

But there were also some who agreed with Mr Tuan Ibrahim.

Ooi Beng Cheang tweeted that before the tragedy hit, Klang Valley residents had other things high on their priority list like Covid-19 and restarting their businesses that were affected by the pandemic.

Shahril Nizam commented on Facebook saying that he agreed with what the minister was stressing, saying that sometimes, people tend to overlook matters relating to weather forecasts.

"My family and I managed to exit Pahang in time as we were following the weather news continuously for several days," he said.

Environment and Water Minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man claimed that the public did not take weather forecasts seriously following the recent floods. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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