The National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) Director-General Datuk Aminuddin Hassim has in a press conference yesterday (20 December) responded to the criticisms by Malaysians for not handling the disaster well.
According to Aminuddin, many Taman Sri Muda residents had initially refused to evacuate after the rain began and water level started to rise.
He added that among the reasons given by the residents were the fear of catching Covid-19 at the evacuation centres, as well as confidence that there would not be any floods, reported Malay Mail.
“Just that, just for your information, when our personnel entered the area, there were those who did not want to leave.”
“There were victims who refused to leave and I was informed by the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) that when coordinating the team here, there were those who didn’t want to leave because they felt that this is just another flash flood and when it was too late, only then they asked to be rescued.”
“That too, some whose homes were higher, wanted to stay put. They just asked for us to send them food supplies,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Special Functions) Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad who oversees the agency came under fire for their handling of the floods here over the weekend.
He was quoted saying by Utusan that NADMA wasn’t involved in disasters at the state level and would only give victims compensation after being informed by the state.
As of Tuesday morning, at least 14 people have died in the floods and about 61,000 people being evacuated from their homes.