Bukit Aman to question FMT journalist over report on Armed Forces’ response to flood emergency

A general view of Bukit Aman police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur December 1, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
A general view of Bukit Aman police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur December 1, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 4 — Bukit Aman has summoned a reporter from news site Free Malaysia Today (FMT) to give his statement on a story he wrote about the December flood emergency.

According to Gerakan Media Merdeka (Geramm), a police report was lodged by the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) against Sean Augustin for his article titled “Fed up with waiting, the military rolls into flood relief”.

As part of the story, an unnamed source was quoted as saying that the Malaysian Armed Forces decided to start evacuating flood victims to relief centres in five states, without waiting for any directive from Nadma, as the flooding grew more widespread.

The source was also quoted as saying that the Selangor government had been reluctant to get the military involved.

It is thought that the police report is related to the anonymous source.

In the meantime, Geramm has asked the police to be transparent in their investigations and to inform Sean should he require legal representation.

In the last two weeks of December, heavy rain battered eight peninsula states — Pahang, Kelantan, Terengganu, Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Johor and Selangor — causing massive floods, displacing thousands and destroying homes.

The authorities have been criticised for their apparent lack of coordination and delayed response to the natural disaster.

The clean-up and recovery process is expected to take months and cost billions of ringgit.

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