Sri Muda flood victims decry ’stupidity’ of elections in flood season

Elill Easwaran

Thousands are displaced by floods in Taman Sri Muda, Shah Alam, following days of heavy rain, on December 21, 2021. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, September 25, 2022.

RESIDENTS of Taman Sri Muda, Shah Alam, who were badly hit by floods last year, are adamant that a general election should not be held in the monsoon season.

They told The Malaysian Insight the government must not consider such a “cruel move”.

Guitarist David Arokiasamy, 68, said it will be stupid of  the government to call for an election during the rainy season.

“The Meteorological Department has warned about floods in November and that they could be worse than last year.

“The government talks about Keluarga Malaysia but to call for election now means it does not care about the people,” he said.

He said many people in his neighbourhood have yet to fully recover from the floods last year.

“The government should concentrate on the people and not get greedy for power.

“It has to prove that it cares for the people by taking actions such as flood mitigation projects.”

If an election were to be held in the coming months, David said he will vote against the politicians who allowed the floods to occur last year.

Last week, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Malaysians will not have to wait long for polls.

David Arokiasamy says it will be stupid of the government to call for an election during the rainy season, especially in the face of flood warnings. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, September 25, 2022.

Ambulance driver Mohd Anas, 51, said the government should only be focusing now on preparing for floods.

“It should already have evacuation centres on standby and plans to make sure people do not suffer badly from floods. It is extremely disappointing to see that the government is only talking about elections,” he said

Anas said he will not vote if an election is called this year.

“I would rather stay at home in case it starts flooding.

“I’ve lost enough and realised that the government is hungry for power instead of caring for the people,” he said.

Heavy rainfall in December caused massive flooding in Selangor, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Perak and Pahang.

The floods displaced more than 70,000 people at its height and killed 54. Selangor was one of the worst-hit states where thousands had to be evacuated.

Mohd Anas says he will not vote if an election is called this year. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, September 25, 2022.

Another resident Susan Lim,46, said she can tell by now that the government does not care about the people.

“At this point, we have realised that when it comes to floods, we can only depend on ourselves and civil society groups to help us.

“I won’t be surprised if an election is called for as soon as November,” she said.

“If it rains around that time, I will stay home and move my things upstairs instead of wasting my time going to vote.

Another resident, who wished to be known as Yunos, 62, urged the government not to even think about elections now.

“We read the news every day and all we see are people from the opposition and the government talking about elections.

“No one seems to be bothered about the wellbeing of the people, who could be hit by floods once more,” said Yunos.

He said it is a shame to see the leaders of the country so greedy for power.

Earlier this month, Malaysian Meteorological Department director-general, Muhammad Helmi Abdullah said large-scale floods caused by continuous heavy rain are expected in the country from mid-November.

“If the general election is held at the beginning of November, the possibility of it meeting major floods is low. Major floods are expected in mid-November till end-November,

“If elections are held in December, the possibility of it facing continuous heavy rains and major floods is high due to the northeast monsoon,” he said. – September 25, 2022.

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