Don't just depend on rescue agencies during floods, Putrajaya tells Malaysians

Shahidan said Malaysians must learn to be more self-reliant and not depend solely on government agencies to handle flood disasters. — Reuters pic
Shahidan said Malaysians must learn to be more self-reliant and not depend solely on government agencies to handle flood disasters. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 12 — Malaysians must learn to be more self-reliant and not depend solely on government agencies to handle flood disasters, Putrajaya said today.

In a written reply to Tanah Merah MP Datuk Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister's department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said Malaysians should emulate Japan's disaster management system.

"We can emulate developed countries like Japan whereby the role of saving lives, reducing the risk of casualties should start with the individual and not just on rescue agencies," Shahidan said.

Putrajaya is mulling the establishment of a new agency to deal with flood disasters as the job cannot be managed solely by the National Security Council, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said last month.

Muhyiddin had said the idea is being seriously considered as part of improvements to the government’s current standard operating procedures for flood management.

The recent floods that swept Kelantan, among other states, were the worst in recent decades, displacing over 200,000 Malaysians nationwide from their homes.