Malaysia’s poor resilience to floods: no excuses

In light of the poor response to the intense floods currently ravaging several states in Peninsula Malaysia,  Gabungan Darurat Iklim Malaysia (GDIMY) demands that federal and state governments prioritise Climate Resilience to address the issue of the extreme climate events in our country IMMEDIATELY with CONCRETE PEOPLE-CENTRED AND NOT FALSE SOLUTIONS. 

The latest IPCC report states that climate change is “widespread, rapid and intensifying” and this is exactly what we are seeing playing out in Malaysia today. However, we are hopelessly unprepared. Not properly protecting our people from the full impacts of disasters is a violation of their rights to life, health, food, water, shelter, a safe and healthy environment, and livelihood.

Besides the fall out from Typhoon Rai, other causes that have exacerbated the floods in the country are:  

  • Continual loss of rainfall catchment areas due to deforestation by logging (both legal and illegal)
  • De-gazettement of forest reserves and conversion to plantation, mining or mixed development
  • Poorly planned development with no proper impact/risk assessments near forest reserves causing forest fragmentation
  • Cities that have been built with low permeability to absorb rainfall
  • Changes in river management systems from unchecked canalisation and loss of buffer zones and setback lines due to developmental pressure.

1. We DEMAND that the above activities be put to an immediate halt. 

2. We DEMAND that the Malaysian government declare this disaster as a  “National Disaster” and authorise the formation of a Special Commission to formally investigate this disaster and the efficacy of the response actions and to recommend reparation/compensation to those negatively impacted by any negligence on the part of the government. The independent members of this Special Commission must comprise independent scientists and local experts on flood-related issues, representatives of the affected communities, NGOs, Disaster Risk Reduction Management experts, health professionals, and town planning and sustainability experts. The investigation findings must be read out and debated in Parliament as soon as possible in 2022, and the publication made accessible to the public.

3. We DEMAND that federal and state governments expedite the development of a robust National Adaptation Plan (NAP) with a focus on Resilience with clear targets, future scenario planning, and an implementation roadmap that covers all possible (not only probable) climate impacts holistically. All consultation processes with local governments and non-state stakeholders must be transparent, meaningful and inclusive to ensure the building of community resilience components which include rural and urban settlement and landscape design, social capital, ecosystem capital, rural and urban technological capital, and adaptive capacity (which incorporates DRRM). 

4. We DEMAND that the federal government expedite a National Disaster Risk Reduction Plan which includes instituting nationwide cross-sectoral training in Community-based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM).  

5. We DEMAND the setting up of an independent multi-stakeholder Community Resilience Unit to oversee a nationwide programme to build community resilience in all factors beyond just disaster risk management. 

We remain deeply saddened and disappointed by the slow and ineffectual response, interagency blaming and lack of coordination across government agencies in dealing with  the current flood crisis. We are also very discouraged that the government has not acknowledged the climate crisis as the EMERGENCY that it is. The rakyat is awake and ready for a just transition, but are our leaders?

For any clarification, please contact Dr Darren Ong at darren@gdimy.org or  info@gdimy.org

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Endorsements (Groups)

  1. Greenpeace Malaysia
  2. Malaysian Progressives in Australia (MPOZ)
  3. Persatuan Kesedaran dan Keadilan Iklim Malaysia (Klima Action Malaysia –
    KAMY)
  4. Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam (pekamalaysia.org )
  5. Parti Sosialis Malaysia
  6. Agora Society Malaysia
  7. AJ Rimba Collective
  8. Aliran
  9. Alliance Of River Three
  10. Beach Cleanup
  11. Beach Cleanup Kedah
  12. Buku Jalanan Chow Kit
  13. CERAH – Anti Haze Action
  14. Dapur Jalanan Kuala Lumpur
  15. Disaster Management Basilica of St Anne
  16. Enlight Malaysia
  17. Gibbon Conservation Society
  18. IMAN Research
  19. Jaringan EkologI dan Iklim (JEDI)
  20. KotaKita
  21. Liga Rakyat Demokratik
  22. MyHutan
  23. National Association of Apex Clubs of Malaysia
  24. Pergerakan Tenaga Akademik Malaysia (GERAK)
  25. Persatuan Aktivis Sahabat Alam – KUASA
  26. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor
  27. ReformARTsi
  28. Say No To PJD Link
  29. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
  30. SIUMAN (Rangkaian Solidariti Demokratik Pesakit Mental)
  31. Tindak Malaysia
  32. Undi Sabah
  33. Waroeng Baru
  34. Youth Build Nation (YBN)
  35. Youths United for Earth (YUFE)
  36. Youths.my

Endorsements (Individuals)

  1. Alia
  2. Alice Tan
  3. Alyaa ezzati binti muhammad hakim see
  4. Animah Kosai
  5. Anwar Fazal
  6. Beverly Joeman
  7. Billie Tan
  8. Chee Heng Leng
  9. Cheong Wai Quan
  10. Cherlanne Patrick
  11. Clare Westwood
  12. Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
  13. Dominic Wong
  14. Fabian Dicom
  15. Firdaus nisha m faizal
  16. Gomathi Sollamuthu
  17. John Ku kean heng
  18. Joshua Arvind
  19. June Tan
  20. Ken
  21. Kenn Lo
  22. Lee Ren Xin
  23. Liyana Amira Salleh
  24. Mah Hui Lim
  25. Mark Teh
  26. Mary Bharathy
  27. Mathini Arveena Ravee
  28. Mazni Ibrahim
  29. Muhammad Ariff bin Mohammad Nizam
  30. Mullaishselvi
  31. Nicole Fong
  32. Nurjannah Ahmat
  33. Nurul Fitrah Marican
  34. Pireya Tharaseni Arulu
  35. Quah Gek Choo
  36. Serena Josrin
  37. Sharifah Sofia
  38. Shereen Ong
  39. Siti Rahayu Baharin
  40. SriGanesh Sithantaran
  41. Theva Kughan
  42. Vernon Christopher Fernandez
  43. Wan Manan

    Click here to add your endorsement to this statement

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