Friday, December 24, 2021

Is there a functioning govt in the country?

Is there a functioning govt in the country?

P Ramasamy

ADUN SPEAKS | The National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) has come under heavy fire for not coordinating relief operations during the recent floods in different parts of the country.

The federal minister overseeing Nadma, Abdul Latiff Ahmad, has been asked to tender his resignation for the disastrous role of the relief agency,

Although Nadma had been placed under the National Security Council, its role or failure in disaster management has been questioned.

Latiff has sought to defend his role saying asking for his resignation does not really address the problem at hand. If he has to resign then the same thing goes to Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Every time that something untoward happens, then there is a need to change the prime minister, he added.

Latiff went on to say that Nadma with 50 staff is merely a coordinating body. Prevention or the mitigating of disasters must be with the various levels of the government — local, state and federal.

He said expecting Nadma to perform miracles is something beyond the scope and functions of the federal agency.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Special Functions) Abdul Latiff Ahmad

Recently massive floods hit different parts of the country affecting thousands of people. A number lost their lives and untold damage to properties.

While ordinary people scrambled to assist the victims, the agencies entrusted with the responsibility to provide assistance to the affected were puzzled as to their actual role.

The quarrel between two politicians of the opposite political divide showed that those in charge of the containment of natural disasters were unsure about their respective roles.

They took to the media to highlight their differences as though rains causing the flood will hold back once they settled their differences.

Ordinary people came to assist

While the heavily funded federal and state agencies were unsure about their actual role in the management of disaster, ordinary people of all walks of life sprung into action with boats, food, water and other supplies to assist the victims.

Without the cooperation and support of these ordinary people, the suffering would have been severe, and many more lives would have been lost.

The massive floods and the devastation that was wrought were unprecedented. Yes, we had floods before, but the volume and ferociousness were much severe this time around.

The effect of climate change was there and government agencies were aware of this. But climate change also means that the governments, at the various levels, should have been in a high state of alertness or vigil.

Metrological warnings were there, but where were the government agencies and the politicians? The complementary role of heavy rains and high tides in causing floods is too well-known.

Yet the government agencies funded by taxpayers' money were not prepared at all in mitigating the worst effects of the floods.

In the Taman Sri Muda area of Selangor, even the area meant for draining and storing water has been converted to housing. The massive flow of water was interrupted resulting in flooding.

Isn’t it time that the government looked at the precipitating cause of the floods even though the phenomenon of climate change is there? Why are areas meant for drainage converted into housing?

Hundreds of millions of taxpayers' money are spent on flood mitigation. But why are these measures ineffective? Is the government doing the right thing?

If such floods had happened elsewhere, a number of heads would have rolled. But in Malaysia where we take pride in “boleh”, the mistakes of the past would be repeated and repeated.

I wonder whether there is a functioning government in the country in the first place.

P RAMASAMY is Perai assemblyperson and Penang deputy chief minister II.


  1. Another of resources, in theory, but poorly coordinated and poorly led.

    A lot of politicised decisions, even in the midst of emergency.

    1. A common phenomenon when the govt is been led by incompetent dickheads of know-nothing.

      Occupied the jamban & yet can't even do a proper shitting - familiar bolihland talk, no?