Malaysia Dateline

#KerajaanPembunuh trends on twitter as more bodies of flood victims are found

Netizens are using social media to vent their frustrations over the government’s slow response in managing the heavy floods that swept over the country recently.

Throughout the weekend, hashtags like #KerajaanPembunuh, #KerajaanGagal and #KerajaanZalim started trending on twitter, indicating a strong resentment towards the failures of the current government.

Over 34 lives have been claimed, and tens of thousands displaced due to heavy torrential rains that lasted over three days and have caused some of the worst floods Malaysia has seen in decades.

While it is unclear how many people are still missing, it is likely that as the floods recede, even more bodies will be found.

Eight states experienced heavy flooding, with some areas being completely submerged under water.

Flood prone areas like Taman Sri Muda and Klang seem to have taken the brunt of it in Selangor, while in Pahang, more than 50,000 people have been displaced and in need of shelter.

Victims trapped on rooftops swarmed twitter with desperate pleas for help while others used the site to seek assistance in locating loved ones who lived in the affected areas.

Social media has been an extremely powerful tool in helping citizens, NGOs, and opposition politicians come together to form rescue operations and to distribute aid to the victims.

It is also a hotbed for anti-government sentiment as there is an almost unanimous perception that government efforts in helping the victims were too little, too late.

There seems to be little evidence of fast action, coordination, or ability to quickly mobilise resources from the Ismail Sabri administration.

To make matters worse, government officials were seen throwing parties and hosting events while thousands lost their homes.

Malaysians are also questioning why there was hardly any prior warning about the floods which would have allowed more people to evacuate the homes quickly to protect their families.

Malaysia’s Meteorological department said it had provided warnings about the heavy and continuous rains since Dec 11 through various different channels.

However, this only begs the question as to why no special announcement was made by the government and why no messages were sent through MKN (Malaysian National Security Council).

Furthermore, when opposition MPs tried to raise the issue of the flood crisis in Parliament, they were promptly shut down by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Harun, who claimed that the flood was not part of the predetermined debate topics.

Netizens were also incensed at the government’s delay in sending out armed forces, helicopters and rescues boats.

Head of NADMA, Datuk Abdul Latiff Ahmad, Environment Minister Tuan Ibrahim, and Malaysian PM Ismail Sabri are among those being called to resign due to the poor handling of the disaster.