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Flashbacks for flood victims as rising waters dampen election mood

They say they have no interest in politicians who come to the evacuation centre only to campaign for support.

Nur Hasliza Mohd Salleh
3 minute read
Flash flood victims sit at the evacuation centre in SK Sungai Binjai in Meru, Klang.
Flash flood victims sit at the evacuation centre in SK Sungai Binjai in Meru, Klang.

At the relief centre in SK Sungai Binjai, Klang, Ira and Yati sit outside what has been their home for the past few days – bright orange tents that announce to one and all their status as flood victims. 

They were evacuated from their homes, alongside a number of other families, after the flash flood that hit the area after hours of heavy, continuous rain. 

While some have been able to return home, others are still waiting for the floodwater to recede. 

For Ira and Yati, the deluge in Klang has brought back unpleasant memories of the massive floods that swept across the Klang Valley in December last year. 

Speaking to MalaysiaNow, Ira said she had panicked the minute the rain started to fill the ditch near her house. 

Mira and Yati recall the massive floods that hit last year and their fear that the same will happen again now. 

"I bundled up a few things, put away some others, and came straight to the evacuation centre," she said. 

"My husband was the only one who stayed back to lock the house. The rest of us came directly here." 

About 10 relief centres have been opened in Selangor since Nov 10, when several areas in Klang and Kuala Selangor were inundated.

Ira said she had tried to remain calm and to refrain from thinking about the worst-case scenario.

But it was hard as she cannot afford to bear any more losses due to floods. 

"We've already spent RM30,000 replacing furniture and repairing the damage caused
by the floods last time around," she said. 

"We haven't finished paying the cost of fixing our two cars which were submerged in water. I don't know who to talk to about this anymore." 

Yati meanwhile said she had thought only of her family's safety, from the moment she was told that the water had begun to enter their house. 

"As soon as I got back from work, I got together whatever clothes we had and my husband drove us straight here.

"We didn't waste any time because we remembered the floods that happened last year. Even four-wheel drives couldn't enter the area, and some families had to climb up on their roofs to be evacuated." 

More than 400 flood victims are understood to have been placed at the SK Sungai Binjai centre, from 146 families. 

No help from politicians

Ira said she was disappointed with the attitude of some who had continued campaigning for the general election without stopping to think of those affected by the flood. 

Even as she was putting things away in her house, she said, people had been busy putting up flags and calling out the names of their parties without heeding the fears of the residents. 

"They sat at the side of the road waving flags and said, 'Vote for us.'

"They didn't want to help us – we who were busy trying to get out. It was all just politics." 

Yati meanwhile said she wanted nothing to do with election candidates who came to the evacuation centre only to campaign and not to help. 

"Some of them came with red flags and made a few rounds, then asked us for our support," she said. 

"What are we to do? We're afraid for ourselves and our homes. They're afraid of other things."