On flooding, education and the call to moderation

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Flood relief in Kelantan, December 2014: The poor bear the brunt of devastating floods caused by the wanton destruction of watershed areas due to state-sanctioned logging, poor planning and weak control of development. - Photograph: Hasnoor Hussain/Malaysian Insider

It is time the federal government sits down with state governments of affected states to come up with a comprehensive solution to the annual flood problem, writes Chris Chong.

Flood relief in Kelantan, December 2014 - Photograph: Hasnoor Hussain/Malaysian Insider
Flood relief in Kelantan, December 2014 – Photograph: Hasnoor Hussain/Malaysian Insider

With the year drawing to a close, it is sad to learn that many fellow Malaysians will end the year homeless, hungry and cold.

With the annual monsoon season comes the annual problem of flooding. This year, many states up north in the peninsula have been inundated, and thousands have been displaced from their home, hungry and cold.

What is more distressing is the fact that this is an annual problem! In short, it is an ongoing problem that stretches back many years. The question is, what has been done to mitigate this problem?

Every year, we read of our fellow Malaysians being affected by floods and yet no effective solution has been found to solve (or at least mitigate the severity) of this problem.

It is time the federal government sits down with the state governments of the affected states to come up with a comprehensive solution to this annual problem. It would be doubly sad if, by the end of 2015, we hear more heartbreaking news of floods affecting our fellow Malaysians.

On the education front, Francis Loh has argued that the current fad to emulate the Korean education system may backfire if we do not take into account the factors that make that system a success.

The key, he argues, lies in lookingbehind that ‘legendary high discipline and work culture’. That pride in work and discipline is actually anchored in a drive for democracy and a deep respect for education and excellence”.

It is heartening to note that a group of 25 prominent Malay-Muslims have spoken up against the extremist tendencies that have reared its ugly head in the nation. Their appeal to moderation and upholding of the Federal Constitution should be read by all Malaysians. More importantly, we should all support this call for moderation and to uphold the Federal Constitution.

Chris Chong

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Co-editor, Aliran e-newsletter
30 December 2014

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