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The Massive Shah Alam Floods Proves That Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohd Khir Toyo Was Wrong And Irresponsible In His Premature Declaration Of Selangor As A Developed State.



Media Statement
by Lim Guan Eng

(Petaling Jaya, Monday): The massive Shah Alam floods yesterday has delivered a most instructive lesson to Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohd Khir Toyo that he was wrong and irresponsible for prematurely declaring Selangor as a developed state. Two hours of heavy rain since 3.30am had resulted in Sungai Damansara overflowing its banks inundating 3,000 homes and forcing nearly 10,000 residents to be evacuated. This massive flood has brought shame not only to Selangor but also to the country and highlighted the failure of Mohd Khir Toyo’s administration.

No developed state in the West would suffer massive floods of such scale because it was more a man-made disaster than a force of nature. If Selangor was indeed a developed state, its showpiece city of Shah Alam would suffer floods if there was heavy rain, but not on the scale of what happened yesterday until 10,000 people had to be evacuated, electricity cut, roads closed and property owners losing all their belongings.
After all, this is not the first time Sungai Damansara had burst its banks.

Reports of floods in parts of Shah Alam were regularly reported in newspapers every two to three months in the past decade but the Menteri Besar is more interested in making unjustified and unsubstantiated announcements of Selangor achieving developed state status. According to press reports, the most recent big flood that hit Shah Alam was last month when the Bukit Jelutong interchange of NKVE was flooded after Sungai Damansara overflowed.  Other flood-prone areas are Kampung Harun, Taman Sri Wangi and other areas of Section 36, NKVE, Batu Tiga, Kampung Melayu Subang, Kampung Sri Muhibbah, Kampung Desa Perantau 2, Taman Subang Perdana and Taman Segar Mah Sing.

Many of Shah Alam residents are angry of the lack of prior warning from the authorities, despite the government installing early flood warning sirens. Even the rescue boats which the State government spent hundreds of thousands of ringgit to evacuate residents caught during floods did not turn up. Clearly their failure to function is symptomatic of the Selangor State Government “beautiful to behold but useless in function”

Fortunately there have been no reports of loss of life but the magnitude of financial loss is huge. The next question is two-fold. One what caused such massive floods and the action taken to prevent a further recurrence in future. To ensure that the government is serious, the officials in charge should either be punished or immediately transferred out for failure to perform or neglect of duty. Two, how is the government going to assist the flood victims, many from the middle and lower income groups who suffered massive financial losses?

Is the worst massive flood in history a reward to Selangor residents living in a developed state? Drastic action must taken and if the state government can not cope, then it should beg for Federal government assistance. Or else Shah Alam residents would definitely prefer Selangor not to be developed if such massive floods become a regular occurrence.

Press Freedom With Social Responsibility Does Not Give The Government The Right To Practice Double-Standards Or Take Action

Against Bloggers Such As Jeff Ooi.

DAP strongly objects to police investigations against Jeff Ooi for provoking racial disharmony in his blog covering the latest cartoon flap involving New Straits Times regarding the Prophet Mohamed. Why should action be taken against Jeff Ooi when he did not publish any offensive cartoon relating to the Prophet?

Is this the press freedom with social responsibility under the new propaganda guru and Information Minister Datuk Zainudin Maidin? Datuk Zam should remember that press freedom with social responsibility does not give the government the right to practice double-standards or take action against bloggers such as Jeff Ooi. By only pointing the finger at RTM 2 for showing the cartoon of the Prophet but not RTM1, is a clear case of double-standards when RTM 1 not only showed the cartoons but also supplied it to RTM 2.

Press freedom with social responsibility should mean that such freedoms should not be abused for private profit or to spread lies. Unfortunately the government never takes action against publications that are government owned or controlled by ruling parties when they spread lies. Instead those who published the truth are victimized. Such double-standards is an abuse of power and selective prosecution by the Information Ministry.

Further why should media publications only be punished when they make a mistake but not Ministers? Information Minister had wrongly accused Tamil newspapers of lying when they reported the truth that Tamil female newscasters were forced to wear the baju kebaya. Justice requires that those who make mistakes must be punished whether they are Ministers or newspapers.


* Lim Guan Eng,  DAP Secretary General

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