FMM calls for higher investments in flood and disaster mitigation programmes


KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 7): Following the massive floods in Penang, the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has called on federal and state authorities to have higher investments in flood and disaster mitigation programmes commensurate with the increase in land development.

In a statement today, FMM highlighted some concerns over the way authorities took care of the situation at hand, including the fact that the Penang state government did not have adequate manpower and equipment to handle the floods.

Besides that, FMM said the existing drainage system in Penang could not accommodate the huge flow of water during heavy rain.

"There is a need to review the existing standard operating procedures on handling of state disaster to ensure more effective coordination," it added.

FMM also called for improvements at the Malaysian Meteorological Department to enable more effective monitoring and early warning systems. It noted that the department had issued weather alerts since Nov 1 but follow-up actions were not adequate to prepare for the circumstances.

"Early alerts and warnings should have triggered the necessary follow-up actions, especially to set up relief centres and early evacuation of high-risk areas. Hence, we are most concerned over effective coordination and mobilisation of resources," said the federation.

"FMM therefore urges the federal government and all state governments to quickly call for an emergency meeting to review, address and implement corrective as well as preventive measures to improve flood and disaster mitigation programmes and standard operating procedures in the country," it added.—

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