Economists slam Putrajaya for substandard handling of floods

Hebahkan !!!

PETALING JAYA: Two economists have criticised the government’s management of the recent floods as falling short of the standard expected in a country in which floods are a yearly occurrence.

Carmelo Ferlito of the Center for Market Education said Putrajaya approached the calamity with tunnel vision, and Geoffrey Williams of the Malaysia University of Science and Technology spoke of a “complete absence” of a social safety net for victims.

Ferlito told FMT there was a need for clarity in the chain of command and execution of duties.

“For two years, local politics has been focused only on Covid-19, ignoring the fact that there are multiple other dangers,” he said.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Carmelo Ferlito. Carmelo Ferlito.

He called for urgency in carrying out political reforms, saying leaders now seemed capable only of seeing a “tiny fraction of a complex reality”.

Williams said the floods highlighted loopholes in policy, infrastructure and disaster response management.

He spoke to FMT particularly of the need for a system of providing relief to victims.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Geoffrey Williams.Geoffrey Williams.

“It should not be a one-off, ad hoc system or reliance on charities. Rather, social protection must incorporate a system that enables direct cash assistance for everyone affected.”

He suggested that Malaysia follow the example of Japan, which is known for effective policies and disaster response systems against earthquakes and tsunamis.

“In Japan, the management approach involves a well-funded, integrated response and coordination between all agencies at national and local levels,” he said.

a close up of a girl: Juita Mohamad.

Juita Mohamad.

Juita Mohamad, a fellow at the Perth USAsia Centre, said a thorough review of development projects was essential for determining the effect of the floods on the ecosystem in the medium to long term.

“Foresight exercises need to take place periodically and government agencies must invest in early warning systems for floods in every state in the country,” she said.

“In that way, if it comes down to it, we can deploy rescue missions in a prompt, timely and effective manner.” she said.

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