Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob admits there were weaknesses in flood management, especially in Selangor, but assured that they will be improved from time to time.
He said the responsibility of managing floods was not that of the federal government alone, as the state governments and relevant authorities at the districts also play an important role.
“I don’t deny (the weakness) and will improve in the future… The responsibility is not that of the federal government alone, but also the state governments and the frontliners at the districts.
“The National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) only coordinates…if it is considered a weakness in coordination, I do not defend anyone in this situation. For me, everyone must be held accountable,” he told reporters after visiting the flood victims at Dewan Besar D’Sury, Jelebu.
Meanwhile, Ismail said during a meeting with the menteris besar this morning, it was found that the preparedness to face the floods in states like Terengganu, Kelantan, and Pahang was in order as the floods, especially, during this time of the year, is a normal phenomenon.
However, he said, the flood that occurred in Selangor was unexpected.
“In Selangor, there is a problem. We are transparent about this, and I do not want to cover anyone. In other states, (like) in the east coast, floods have become like an annual event, so all the preparations have been made, just waiting to open the relief centres, which have been identified and are already there.
“Every year, the flood evacuees will move to the same place,” he added.
He said there are rules for opening a disaster operations centre and standard operating procedures that had to be followed, whereby an operations room is required to be opened when a house is affected.
In Selangor, he said, not only one house, but all were affected by the floods, especially in the Petaling and Shah Alam districts.
“I don’t blame the netizens for making complaints, I’m thankful that they are continuing to complain to me,” he said.
He attributed the problem in Selangor to a combination of factors.
Elaborating, Ismail said rescue teams had a tough time getting into Taman Sri Muda which was the worst-hit area in Selangor as floodwaters had risen rapidly.
“They also had a problem initially responding to victims stranded on rooftops as they could not see the addresses as the road signs had been submerged,” he said.
He added that rescue teams were unable to carry out their work as the roads were also blocked by stranded vehicles.
“Also, although the Meteorological Services Department had said that we can expect heavy rains in Selangor, no one expected so much rain at one go.
“The amount of rainfall on that one day was similar to what the state would usually get in one month,” he said adding that even residents, especially in Taman Sri Muda had been caught off-guard by this.