COMMENT | On Dec 16 last year, a tropical depression that made landfall on the eastern coast of Peninsular Malaysia brought heavy rains throughout the peninsula for several days. As a result of this, Malaysia experienced one of the worst floods in history, leaving an estimated 70,000 displaced and 50 dead.
The government was slow to deliver flood response, and a lack of clear central communication made things worse. Flood victims and volunteers take to social media to call for aid and coordination of flood relief efforts, showing solidarity among the people in the face of disasters.
According to the Climate Emergency Coalition of Malaysia, lacklustre flood mitigation policies, loss of biodiversity and rainfall catchment areas, poor urban planning and unchecked development are all factors that culminated in this disaster.
The low-lying Taman Sri Muda township in Shah Alam is one of the worst flooded areas, with floodwater reaching up to 4m. For 20 years, flood mitigation measures were sufficient to avoid major flooding - until the development of new projects in the surrounding areas compounded on the existing drainage system.
Taman Sri Muda’s system is now burdened with...