ALSO BY

By Stanley Teoh

Shame that floods still afflict nation

We are nearing the year 2020 when Malaysia is projected, nay targeted, to achieve developed nation status.

Ever since Malaysians had news media - radios, newspapers, TVs, from the 50s, and now the internet, we have been watching, reading, and hearing of floods especially in the east coast, and elsewhere in the rest of Malaysia.

Fields were destroyed, businesses affected, roads damaged and closed, bridges swept away, schools flooded, classes disrupted, examinations postponed, towns flooded, many lost their lives and properties, people' lives disrupted, losses suffered, and misery prevailed.

But nature can be controlled - to a certain extent.

Seasonal monsoon rain has been determined as the cause of floods along the west and the east coast, abetted by blocked drains and burst water pipes.

Our experts have studied and can now predict even when it will rain and when it will not, how many days of sunshine, how many days of rain, how much rain, the day's temperature.

Yet the flooding continues ... subsequent to every flooding and flash flood (especially in the cities) studies have been carried out and the conclusions were:

1. Indiscriminate land clearing resulting in the change of the landscape.

2. Insufficient, inefficient drainage.

3. Human habits of littering and indiscriminate dumping resulting in clogged drains and rivers.

4. Unabated and poorly planned developments.

5. Lackadaisical attitudes of enforcement agencies.

And more.

Much has been done to alleviate the suffering of the populace and reduce losses at great cost to our nation's coffers - but not enough correct remedial actions have been carried out and the ravage of nature continues.

It has been 55 years since the present government came into power.

Much has been reported throughout the years and years of flooding in our nation.

It is incumbent upon the ruling government, in this case, since 1957, the federal government of BN, to act decisively to contain the onslaught of nature. This may take years.

The actions by the state government, be it BN or Pakatan, is limited, especially in Pakatan controlled states.

Funding for national disasters comes from the federal government who acts as the central tax collector.

No funds for such actions to contain floods should be withheld in consideration of political affiliation or preference. Nor should the people be deprived of such funding.

It is unfair for the people to place blame solely on the shoulders of the state government, when funding for such flood mitigation efforts are controlled by the central government.

The central government must be generous in such effort to alleviate the suffering of the people. After all, it is the people' money that is being used.

Should any state government apply for funding to carry out flood mitigation efforts, funds must be readily available and in sufficient amount, regardless of political affiliation.

We are all Malaysians - and all states makes up our nation called Malaysia. Let us all, people and governments, give substance to the 1malaysia spirit.

Malaysia boleh!