Thursday, January 18, 2007

Who's in charge of managing the floods?

LET'S talk politics for a while. While there's considerable interest in the Batu Talam by-election in Pahang where the BN candidate is expected to steamroll his Independent opponent, another kind of politics is taking place down south.

Yes, in the flood state of Johore. I'm talking about the politics of managing a disaster.

With so many statements being made by various Government leaders, promising so much help and support, one fact remains - we never really learned how to manage a disaster.

Who's really in charge of managing the floods? The Prime Minister? The Deputy Prime Minister? The Menteri Besar? The Armed Forces? The Police? The Welfare ministry? The National Disaster Committee? The whole Cabinet? The State EXCO? The MPs? The ADUNs?The volunteers? All of the above?

Who?

One needs only to listen to the voices of the makcik and hear the wail of hungry children and infants to realise that the flood victims have burning questions about their welfare. It's not so much as to have to sleep on mengkuang mats and eat nasi kawah that make these makcik and pakcik angry and hapless.

It's not knowing what their future will be! This is what makes the flood victims lose sleep, develop hypertension, feel depressed and hapless. They see their dreams washed away, swept by the strong currents of indifference and lack of urgency and direction in certain quarters.

Johore, which in recent months have been touted as the country's most promising state, has been proven to be so vulnerable. Heavy rain, non-stop rain, overflowing waters - these things are enough to cripple a whole state!

While it is very encouraging to see citizens rallying to offer food, clothings, blankets and money to help alleviate the suffering of the victims, no one has come out with a plan let alone a strategy to address the floods in the long term.

It's heartening to hear that money will be made available to help businessmen pick up the pieces. But can someone spell out the how? We hear statements by Government leaders to reduce red-tape so that aid can be dished out faster. That's all very good and heart-warming.

But spend some time among the victims and you'll hear whispers of cynicism and discontent. Mind you, these victims are grateful that they have hot food and warm clothings. But they speak increasingly loudly about not knowing where the flood waters will take them to the future.

It's time someone in the policy-making body "somewhere up there" take some time to figure out what is the solution to these floods, and how can the citizens rebuilt their lives and present a sunny future for their children.

7 comments:

skali skala said...

Dato

Off topic, but i'm sure you already know about Rocky & Jeff Ooi being sued by NST. A fund MUST be set for them and as an act of solidarity, blogger in Malaysia should condemned the act taken by NST, in the name of freedom of speech!

Wasalam

Ahmad A Talib said...

To Mijnheer Ikje,

I'd like to use your nice poem but can you reword your last line. TQ

Ahmad A Talib said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ahmad A Talib said...

Mijnheer Ikje,

pl resend poem. the earlier one was deleted. sorry, still trying to get used to art of maintaining blog!!

Anonymous said...

Brother Mat,

Off topic but this is something u should know lah.
We, the kariah and jemaah of Taman Sri Gombak held our weekly baca yasin sessions last nite (between maghrib and isyak).
Amongst the doas (apart from the arwah)was to our brother jemaah Sdra Karim Sulaiman whom we all acknowledged as among us here in Sri Gombak, a community of close to 50,000 residents from all walks of lives.
InsyALLAH, semoga ALLAH Yang Maha Kuasa meringankan kesengsaraan Sdra Karim dan keluarganya dan pohon dipermudahkan dan disegerakan segala urusan memulihkan kesihatan beliau.
Kepada kaum keluarganya, bersabarlah dan percayalah bahawa ubat yang paling mujarab ialah doa setelah kita telahpun melakukan segalanya dan berserah kepadaNYA..

zukri valenteno
Taman Sri Gombak

Mijnheer Ikje said...

Dato'

Dah la tu: Tiada Rezeki.
Tepi jalan, Dato',
how picks up the pieces
everytime two fools collide?

I am honored, Dato'

That there is one
such as a lovely
princess - Raja Zarith
and friends
every so busy
ever so concern
of her people
while a handsome young king
came and made more than one
faces shine with
twenty four carat smiles

But, the little kids just loves that Abdullah!
Ahh, a sultan sings sighs
in his istana frown

The Governments is there
for the people, high and low
big and small
but
it is the people
themselves who must
help themselves.

The Peolple Is The Government, Dato'

lubok melayu said...

Tok Mat,
Tuhan marah orang Kota Tinggi agaknya. Apalah dosa yang dilakukan sehingga banjir yang dahsyat? Kalau Tuhan sayangkan orang kat situ, dah tentulah by-election di Kota Tinngi dan bukannya di Batu Talam. Barulah berduyun orang Umno dan kaki ampu datang ke Kota Tinggi. Tiada pilihan, kena tolng mangsa banjir! Tapi kerusi Parliment Kota Tinggi kena kosongkan dulu. Kalau tak dengan cara perletakan jawan, kenalah dengam cara yang lebih "divine".
Moga Datuk di berkati rahmat dlm tahun 1428 ini. Salams.