Malaysia braces for damaging floods in test to Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s approval as polls loom
- Floods in Malaysia have become an annual phenomenon, and in Kuala Lumpur, the government is rolling out a mitigation project worth US$66 million
- Any missteps in handling of floods could affect PM Ismail’s popularity, amid pressure to hold an election before the September 2023 deadline
In Kuala Lumpur alone, the government is rolling out a flood mitigation project worth 300 million ringgit (US$66 million) that is 60 per cent completed, Environment Minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said in a Facebook post on Wednesday. “I hope this project is effective in managing the terrible floods in KL and bring ease to the people.”
Floods in Malaysia have become an annual phenomenon, triggered by the north-east monsoon that brings heavy rain from November to March. A recurrence of the floods that inundated parts of the nation late last year would add to the extreme weather that has swept the world in recent months, with record floods occurring alongside widespread heatwaves and drought.
Malaysia’s meteorological department forecast that most states on the peninsula may receive up to 900 millimetres of rainfall in November. Last year’s floods caused an estimated 6.1 billion ringgit (US$1.35 billion) in losses, the Department of Statistics said in January. Selangor, the richest and most industrialised state, was the worst hit and accounted for half the losses.