KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 29 — Federal Opposition lawmakers called today for the immediate formation of a special commission to investigate the government’s management of floods and for Parliament to debate its findings.
In a joint statement, the 77 MPs led by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim also urged the government to adopt more climate-conscious policies, including a national adaptation plan and tougher penalties against those who violate environmental laws.
“The federal government should also engage with all stakeholders including members of the Opposition and civil society groups to develop a holistic plan to mitigate disasters as well as environmental impacts moving forward.
“The government needs to act fast! We need to prevent unnecessary losses of lives due to inefficiencies, tardiness and carelessness which could have been avoided from the start.
“As members of Parliament, we demand for the immediate setting up of a special commission to investigate the management of the floods and that its report must be debated and approved by Parliament,’’ they said.
The lawmakers also criticised the government’s apparent lack of preparation for the severe floods, which they said was made worse by the callous response to the deaths that resulted.
“The government’s unpreparedness of dealing with the aftermath and not having a ready plan to mitigate the disaster was shambolic. It is distressing that 46 lives were lost in Selangor and Pahang because of the ineffectiveness and the lackadaisical attitude of the federal government.
“There was also a communication mishap between the federal government and the Selangor state government on dealing with the search and rescue mission, with reports of armed forces self-deploying themselves because the flood waters were too high and they could not wait for orders from higher-up.
“This is worrying to the people of Malaysia as instead of saving lives, the federal government opts to play petty politics. There are 32 ministers in Ismail Sabri’s Cabinet but instead of deploying themselves to be at the aid of the people, they instead pretend to ‘help’ for photo opportunities,’’ they said.