KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — The Opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition today called on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to give a full explanation in Parliament on his government’s delayed response to the recent catastrophic floods nationwide.

The PH presidential council pointed to widespread public criticism against the government on social media and said this must be addressed in a special parliamentary session soon.

“The impact of the massive floods in terms of property damage and loss of life of almost 50 people this time is very significant and heartbreaking. 

“In fact this phenomenon has opened our eyes to the reality that climate change and human activities especially rampant logging and unsustainable development are ultimately having a very negative impact on the people,” the council said in a statement.


The statement was jointly signed by the leaders of PH’s four component parties, PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, and United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (Upko) Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau.

They also urged the government to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to conduct a post-mortem examination of the floods, and include an assessment of Sabah and Sarawak. 

The Opposition noted that Borneo Malaysia was not spared from floods in recent times even though most of the disaster this time around was mostly reported in the peninsula.


“This is to ensure that all planning weaknesses and delay in implementation can be overcome, including those stated in the Auditor-General’s Report concerning the six retention ponds in Kuala Lumpur that had been approved for development as disclosed recently by the Segambut MP,” the PH presidential council said.

Ismail Sabri’s administration has come under heavy public criticism over its flood relief measures following the floods across the peninsula starting from December 17, notable in the highly-populated Klang Valley.

Tens of thousands of people were displaced when their homes were submerged overnight while 47 lives were lost; five people have been reported still missing.

The floodwaters reached a height of over two metres in some areas and took over a week to subside in some areas.

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 Ismail Sabri to order all his ministers holidaying abroad to immediately return to the country and assist in relief efforts.