Malaysians rally with kayaks, life jackets to extend help to flood victims

Members of the Malaysian military and emergency services prepare to deliver food to residents in Shah Alam on Dec 20, 2021. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysians showed what it meant to be a family when they stepped up to help those who were displaced by the catastrophic floods.

Armed with only five kayaks and 18 life jackets, Mr Adib Harith knew he wanted to offer his assistance after seeing Malaysians pleading for help on Twitter.

"After reading those tweets, I decided to buy kayaks at Decathlon and go directly to the flood scene to help those people.

"I wanted to get all the necessary equipment and help anyone who was stranded," he said when contacted yesterday.

Since he needed a four-wheel drive vehicle to transport the equipment, Mr Adib said he put out a request on Twitter and a woman and her friend offered to help him.

"We then went directly to Section 19 (Shah Alam) to help the victims," he added.

Mr Adib, 31, said he had no prior kayaking experience but knew that he had to step up as no other aid was coming.

"Those who were with me were random people I met on Twitter who had the same intention to help others. Together, we successfully transported about 200 stranded people.

"We wanted to do so much more but couldn't as we were limited by the amount of equipment that we had," he said, noting that they were there from 1pm on Sunday till 2am the next day.

Mr Adib, who is a blockchain entrepreneur, also shared that he was traumatised after witnessing those who had died from the floods.

"There are times when you cannot do anything. People wanted to get out of their houses but without proper equipment, we were unable to bring them out," he added.

The death toll from the floods rose to 14 on Monday (Dec 20), reported The Malay Mail.

People rescuing residents trapped by the floods in Taman Sri Muda on Dec 19, 2021. PHOTOS: ONG KIAN MING/TWITTER

Despite being a minor, 16-year-old Rabiatul Adawiyah Zaidi also stepped up, by offering her place for people to leave their pets temporarily.

"I have pets of my own. I believe that pets should also be rescued and not just humans. I feel sad when I see an animal shivering and scared out in the cold," she said.

A 31-year-old, who only wanted to be known as Kaka, contributed 40 powerbanks to those in need.

"The powerbanks donated cannot be compared to the lives of those who were stranded. In this situation, people have to band together and help one another.

"I believe these powerbanks will be able to help those in need," she said, adding that she was compelled to lend a helping hand as she could not imagine such a situation happening to her family.

Ms Sari Zainal, meanwhile, offered her lorry to transport necessities to relief centres as well as a kayak to transport those who were stranded.

"I received too many requests (on Twitter) and unfortunately, was unable to fulfil all of them. I wish I had more lorries and boats to offer.

"We are also giving out blankets, socks and diapers to the relief centres," the 26-year-old said.

On Twitter, there were Malaysians who had opened up their homes for people to shelter in.

A 30-year-old software developer, who wanted to be known only as Yi, said he helped flood victims in Taman Sri Muda move to his old house to shelter there temporarily until the waters subsided.

"These people were rescued on Sunday night and had no place to go. As I had a vacant place, I decided to open it up to let those affected by the floods stay there temporarily," he said.

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