Malaysia floods: We need action and intervention fast, says expert

A man sitting in water amid flooded vehicles and houses in Shah Alam, Selangor, on Dec 21, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

GEORGE TOWN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Dry and wet seasonal changes along with rising sea levels are believed to be the reasons behind the frequent flooding in the country, but to curb these incidents, intervention and action by the authorities have to take place fast, said an expert.

Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies director Professor Datuk Aileen Tan said atmospheric and sea atmospheric changes were affecting the weather in Malaysia and globally.

"This is why we have floods more easily compared to before. But this is partly due to development, enforcement and management issues as well.

"There must be proper mitigation put in place, including monitoring and management by local authorities and communities, to prepare ahead for such incidents.

"Over the years, we have had so many instances of flooding, but now, stakeholders have executed better drainage plans," she said when contacted.

With the exception of the recent major floods in the Klang Valley, Prof Tan said there should already be good mitigation in place in most parts of the country that frequently experience floods.

"For the recent floods in Selangor, it is exceptional as the weather change was abrupt.

"But in many other places, there should already be human intervention, especially after all the lessons we learnt over the years.

"We cannot always attribute floods to climate change and not do anything to curb them," she said, adding that this was especially important for flood-prone places.

Prof Tan said with such instances over the years, "we should have already been able to anticipate, plan for mitigation and execute it properly".

Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies director Aileen Tan said atmospheric and sea atmospheric changes were affecting the weather in Malaysia and globally. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

She pointed out that with climate change happening globally, flooding is going to be more and more severe in the coming years.

"We need our development to be in balance with the environment.

"It is more crucial for us to maintain an environmental balance, but currently, there is still a gap in converting scientific findings into appropriate, workable plans and policymakers need to take action," she said.

Prof Tan said in Malaysia, scientists had researched and shared many findings over the years that now need to be converted into action.

Referring to communities near coastal areas, she said floods were going to become severe in the years to come.

"If we do not take action and have good mitigation strategies in place, we will be in trouble," she said.

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