KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 — Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (Gerakan) today urged the government to form an independent tribunal to look into flood management issues.

Its president Datuk Dominic Lau said the tribunal could help identify the causes and prevent the problem from reoccurring in the future. 

“The flood issues can be resolved if one knows what the cause is, action should be taken planned and implemented.

“An independent tribunal could identify the causes of the flood and provide space to improve assistance and efforts to help flood victims,” he told a press conference at the party headquarters here.

He said the suggestion was raised in the party’s central committee meeting this morning.

Lau said the recent floods that inundated many urban areas in several states also highlighted the need for better coordination among government agencies, both at the federal and state levels.

He said the public perception was that the government agencies were less effective compared to non-governmental organisations in the relief efforts.

“Indeed, there are government agencies such as the police and fire brigade to provide assistance, but why we see the issue of the threat of floods having a bad effect is because of government coordination

“We seem to provide assistance but the coordination is not good.

“Therefore inter-agency training must be held to prepare government agencies,” he said.

The floods have devastated many areas in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Pahang, Johor, Terengganu and Kelantan since last December 20.

Many Malaysians took to social media to express their discontent with the federal and state governments, decrying their slow response to the tens of thousands who were displaced.

Residents in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur were among the most vocal to express their fury over the loss of more than 30 lives in Shah Alam, Klang, Hulu Langat and Kuala Langat combined, and the estimated billions of ringgit worth in damages to property.