KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 28 — Some Malaysians who suffered from some of the worst floods to have swept Peninsular Malaysia alleged that official assistance still has not reached them, a week after the ongoing natural disaster started.
Some, such as hawker Rohkiah Abdul Aziz from Kampung Kubu Gajah in Selangor, alleged to The Straits Times that they were even denied food and shelter at a temporary evacuation centre (PPS) in Selangor, supposedly since they were not residents of the area designated to the facility.
“They told us to wait for help in our area and wouldn’t budge although there were leftovers and unclaimed food. So, we had no choice but to go back,” she was quoted as saying.
“Not even one government agency or lawmaker has come to help. We now see their true colours.”
While the federal and state governments have announced financial assistance to those hit by the floods, Rohkiah complained that this has not resulted in them getting any cash in their time of need.
Saying she has already submitted the forms needed for the applications, Rohkiah added that she and her husband, Rashdan Iswandi, have received no further information since sending these in on December 20.
This year, Selangor became one of the states hit hardest by the annual floods, leaving over 5,500 people still displaced as of today.
The severity of the floods caught both federal and state authorities flat-footed and delayed official response to the disaster, prompting ordinary Malaysians to mobilise themselves to aid those most affected.
Public anger over the government’s slow response was exacerbated by some ministers’ attempts to play up their role in the relief efforts, such as by posting photos and videos of them ostensibly mopping floors and power-washing lizard droppings from drains.
The juxtaposition has since created a public relations nightmare for the government, forcing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to order all his ministers holidaying abroad to immediately return to the country and assist in relief efforts.