A group comprising MPs from across the political divide, academics and NGOs has urged the government to implement a number of measures in moving towards a more united and holistic flood management system, including the formation of a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into aspects such as readiness levels and communication between governments at the federal, state and local levels.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group Malaysia on Sustainable Development Goals (APPGM-SDG) said an RCI should also be established to conduct an in-depth study of all affected areas to ascertain the local factors contributing to the risk of floods.
In a statement, it also called for a review of land use and the strengthening of the National Forestry Act 1984 to mandate public involvemenet on the degazettement of permanent forest reserves.
It likewise urged the expedition of the myNap national adaptation plan which it said had been in the works since 2015.
“This plan is critical to boost the durability of crucial sectors at risk of extreme weather and the effects of climate change like water sources, food security, infrastructure, public health, community and biology,” it said.
APPGM-SDG said the authorities should also strengthen the use of nature-based solutions in the management of flood risks and climate change, and review and put a stop to development in sensitive and vulnerable environmental areas, especially in locations with high population densities such as Bukit Nenas.
“There is a risk of landslides occurring if development continues, where the cost of repairs will be borne by the people through tax dollars,” APPGM-SDG, chaired by Batang Lupar MP Rohani Abdul Karim, added.
It also suggested the implementation of programmes across the country to improve water management in urban areas such as through the “sponge city” concept which it said could help address the problems of flash floods, lack of water supply, air quality and declining ecosystems.
Likewise, it said community-based disaster risk management programmes should be conducted nationwide to improve the people’s level of readiness for such disasters.
“For example, communications under an emergency response plan with communities and the agencies involved including Nadma, the police and the fire department,” it said.
It also called for the formation of a climate change commission to regulate matters related to climate change.