PETALING JAYA: Former Melaka chief minister Idris Haron has hit out at the national disaster agency for claiming that the states have to be responsible for disasters like major floods.
He said the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) should be taking the lead during a disaster.
“Their name itself says it all – that it is to manage disasters at the national level,” he said.
Nadma’s war room, he said, should immediately take the lead and coordinate with all related agencies to inform victims of the impending disaster, rescue efforts and measures to take after the disaster strikes.
He said they should be the contact agency and coordinate with the environment and welfare departments, rural development, defence and health ministries and all other relevant agencies.
He asked if the meteorological department had informed Nadma of the expected heavy rainfall as even international weather forecast agencies had predicted heavy rainfall after Typhoon Rai hit the Philippines.
“How come no one here predicted the scale of disaster? It is too huge to be missed.
“Even people in the small state of Melaka would be alerted through social media and Twitter if flash floods are expected.
“We would ask them to safeguard their lives and valuables to minimise the impact,” he said.
Idris said that instead of pushing the responsibility to states, Nadma should be making daily announcements just as the health ministry used to do during the early days of Covid-19.
He said the weekend flood incident should not be taken lightly and people have the right to know about the measures being taken after Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Pahang were battered by floods.
He said flood victims were still at risk of facing various illnesses like cholera after the floods.
“Shouldn’t Nadma be asking the health ministry to raise awareness about this?”
Earlier today, Nadma said states were in charge of disaster management and that it would intervene only when a situation turns severe.
It further said Nadma was just a facilitating agency to monitor the states’ efforts from time to time.