PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri 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 the Environment and Water Minister's words on Friday (Dec 24), who went on to say that 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 onto 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".
@Ruben_E_G, who was clearly upset with Tuan Ibrahim's remark, slammed the latter when he said that the warnings were never really done in a serious manner.
"Stop PASsing (sic) the buck and take some responsibility for once in your life," he tweeted.
Berita Harian on Friday (Dec 24) reported 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 occur in the East Coast region of the peninsula.
For a national disaster as big as this, Twitter user @stonerwakian said the government should've made press briefings on the matter before it all happened and while it was happening.
"Don’t shift the blame. You were and still are overseas. Hence, no proactive action from your side," the user added.
On Facebook, Nurul Hidayah echoed the sentiment, saying 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 argued, saying that it's not the people who did not take the matter seriously but it was the government who 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 advise was given through the SMS," he added.
Despite all the angry reactions, there were also some who agreed with 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.