Feb 1, 2007

Malaysia downplays claims floods caused by Singapore

So how do you proof natural disaster?

(AFP) KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysia on Thursday stepped back from remarks by a state official blaming Singapore for recent flooding that has caused more than US$425 million in damage.

The chief minister of Malaysia's Johor state, which was hardest hit by the flooding, reportedly blamed Singapore for narrowing a river mouth which he said impeded drainage during the December and January floods.

But Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar downplayed those comments, saying there were "all sorts of possibilities" that had led to the devastation.

"Before we give any view about what are the causes of the flood and all this sort of thing, we are going to undertake a technical study," Syed Hamid told reporters.

More than 100,000 people had to be evacuated in Johor each time the flood waters came. Southern Malaysia and Singapore are connected by road and rail links across the narrow Johor Strait.

Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak also dismissed the remarks by Johor chief minister Abdul Ghani Othman.

"People are fond of making all kinds of accusations. This ought to be substantiated," he was quoted as saying in the New Straits Times.

The two countries have clashed over the reclamation works, just one of many issues dogging relations since Singapore became independent in 1965 after being ejected from the Malaysian federation.


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1 comment:

fishtail said...

Someone should tell Ghani if he doesn't have anything useful to say, then just shut up.