THE three-day non-stop rain on the west and east coasts of Malaysia between Dec 15 to 18, 2021, was indeed a national catastrophe.
The total rainfall came to a gargantuan 2500 millimeters – the total of the entire annual rainfall of 2020.
The floods of December 2021 in Malaysia left more than 53 dead, required the evacuation of about 500,000 people and resulted in an overall estimate of RM6.1 bil in financial losses. Staggering statistics indeed.
Poor preparation accentuated the problem even more after the Federal Government and the Selangor state Government started pointing fingers at each other.
This led people to form their own rescue teams, cook food in many Gurdwaras and start the #KitaJagaKita movement to provide help and fill in the void left by the Government. Can anyone forget that?
Fast forward to sometime in March 2022 when the rain pummelled Kuala Lumpur again. Within hours, many areas had seen water levels rising to the highest levels.
This is Kuala Lumpur, ostensibly the most developed part of Malaysia.
The truth is, given the many warnings and incidents of flash floods that had been occurring in Kuala Lumpur and the low-lying areas of Malaysia, politicians must be held accountable for not stopping these human-made disasters.
The top five members of UMNO, especially party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, recently agreed to push Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to meet the King to dissolve Parliament as soon as possible to pave the way for early polls.
Nothing difficult to understand
The motivation is not difficult to discern nor understand: UMNO, in league with PAS and other political parties that are weak, wants the electoral turnout to be low so that they can impede the people to come out in large numbers to express the vox populi (the opinions of the majority).
In the 13th General Election (GE13) in 2013, the total turnout was a remarkable 84.84%. Pakatan Harapan, however, could not form a Government due to heavy gerrymandering.
This time around, the will of the people would not be anything less than in the two prior general elections.
However, urging for a general election during the impending monsoon is a voter-turnout suppression that violates the trust of the people against the Government.
The Meteorological Department (METMalaysia) has predicted that between Oct 3 to November 2022, the rain will keep lashing the country. If anything, it is going to be more disastrous than before!
The impending floods are going to be the worst ever throughout the country, a finding that is corroborated by other regional meteorological departments in ASEAN.
Moreover, MET Malaysia has further predicted that between Oct 3 and November 2022, perhaps going further into the end of the year, the amount of rain would be merciless.
Floods are going to be the worst ever problem, not just across Peninsular Malaysia but in Borneo too – unless and until Malaysia stops UMNO from making these vicious and vexatious demands.
Strength of democracy
The strength of democracy is the willingness of incumbent office bearers to value human lives as the objective of the Maqasid Shariah warrants it: as the livelihood of all and sundry.
This is also the standard practice of all law-abiding democratic leaders and their parties.
Furthermore, diverting the human personnel and assets to organise the all-important 15th general election (GE15) during this critical monsoon period will surely lead to a massive catastrophe, where countless lives and families, would see their lives lost.
This is against the spirit and edict of all religions.
Besides that, the amount of taxpayers’ money will come to RM1 bil or more just to get this election ready. That is throwing away US$237 mil of the people’s money in order to ensure a general election with a low electoral turnout.
All Malaysians should rise up against UMNO, PAS or any other political parties in league with them to engineer such a dangerous conspiracy to place themselves in office against the will of the people who would be rooting for a better and more resilient Government.
On the basis of what the Meteorological Department had said about the monsoon transition phase, all Malaysians must stand up to the chicanery of UMNO and PAS and all those who have sought to back them.
After all, the same department said that during the transition phase, weather conditions have the potential to cause rapid flash floods and massive floods not seen before as well as damage weak structures, causing disasters.
“The region will receive weak winds from various directions that are very conducive for thunderstorms, leading to heavy rains and strong winds,” added METMalaysia director-general Muhammad Helmi. “This usually occurs in the evenings and earlier parts of the night.”
He further warned that this will be expected in most areas in the states on the west coast and interiors of the peninsula, west Sabah and central Sarawak, areas in which the people are already living in fear and sheer anxiety.
“Court cluster’s interest above public welfare”
By subjecting these people to the persistent insecurity that they will not be helped, the UMNO Supreme Council has already put the interest of its court cluster against the public welfare of the people.
As it is now the responsibility of all to challenge the will of the cabal of UMNO, let us sign the petition to challenge the mendacity of UMNO, as urged by PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli.
This is now key to destroying the organised hypocrisy of UMNO and PAS that has placed them in the corner of the darkest forces.
Without this massive undertaking, Malaysia will continue to roil in a weak economy, entrapped by a weak ringgit and various other problems that can lead to further systemic and structural decay.
As things are, research has discovered that Malaysians, starting at the age of 30, must start saving RM3,000 a month for the next 30 years to be able to retire well, without which they will be paupers in their own country.
Malaysians must rise to fight this inhumanity and self-serving intention of fast-tracking GE15 by the UMNO-led Barisan Nasional (BN) and PAS during the harshest expected weather and massive floods in the last quarter of 2022. Simply unimaginable level of human and political indecency!
Are there any more lows these politicians and politics can go to? – Oct 2, 2022
Dr Rais Hussin is the CEO of EMIR Research, an independent think tank focused on strategic policy recommendations based on rigorous research.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.
Main photo credit: Malay Mail