Dec 29, 2006

DAP calls for inquiry into disastrous floods

While we are wondering where are the Ministers from Johor, DAP is calling for an inquiry on the disastrous flood that hit Malaysia recently.

(AFP) KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysia's opposition on Friday called for an inquiry into disastrous floods which have left at least 11 dead and forced tens of thousands to flee their homes.

The government has insisted it issued adequate flood warnings, but Lim Kit Siang from the Democratic Action Party (DAP) said authorities were caught "completely off guard".

"What is particularly galling and unacceptable not only to the flood victims but to all right-thinking Malaysians is the denial complex of cabinet ministers in claiming that early warning systems...are adequate," he said in a statement.

Lim said the floods highlighted "grave weaknesses in our natural disaster management, preparedness, prevention and mitigation strategy".

He said that an independent probe should be carried out to avert future loss of lives and property.

Authorities said Friday that the death toll from the floods had risen to 11, with the latest victim a 14-year-old boy whose body was found floating in a canal.

A five-year-old girl is also missing, after the car her family was travelling in was swept away by strong currents.

Her father survived, but the bodies of her mother and three-year-old sister have been retrieved.

The number of people forced to flee their homes and shelter in relief centres in southern Johor state, which has been hardest-hit, rose to 61,352 on Friday from 55,212 the day before, the official Bernama news agency said.

The government has urged rescuers to brace themselves for another round of the disaster after forecasters predicted more bad weather for Johor and central Pahang state until Sunday.

"If it doesn't occur, then thank God, but if it does, we must be in a state of readiness so that the necessary operations can be carried out efficiently," Deputy Premier Najib Razak said Thursday.

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