At least eight people have been killed in floods in Malaysia, authorities say today as the government faces criticism from citizens and opposition lawmakers for rescue efforts.
Floods are common on the east coast of Malaysia during the monsoon season from October to March, but unusually heavy rainfall that began on Friday has put pressure on emergency services across the country.
Malaysia has mobilized its army and other security services in seven states, with the worst floods occurring in Selangor, the country’s richest and most populous province.
Selangor police said eight people were found dead in the floods today, according to the state news agency Bernama.
Among them are four in Taman Sri Mooda, a neighborhood in the Shah Alam district, where many people are said to be trapped in houses and apartment buildings as rescue efforts are hampered by a lack of vessels and manpower.
More than 32,000 displaced people from Selangor have been transferred to temporary shelters to date, the state’s chief minister said on Twitter.
But it is unclear how many more will have to be rescued as telecommunications have been cut in many parts of the state.
Opposition lawmakers today sharply criticized the authorities for delaying their response.
“Tonight will be the third night, people are still asking for boats to be sent,” Democratic Action Party MP Hannah Yo told reporters in Parliament.
“We want the government to activate the aid immediately so that we can no longer find corpses.”
Prime Minister Ismail Sambri Jacob said in a statement today that he had instructed all its services to conduct “more aggressive” operations to help those affected in Taman Sri Muda.
Taman Sri Mooda resident Sazuatu Rebli, 43, and her family were rescued by friends today after being trapped in their home for more than two days.
“The help from the government never came to us, the only help was from the parents of the children I care about,” she told Reuters.
“I really hope the authorities can act faster and pay more attention to the people there.”