No year-end holiday joy as floods put a damper on plans for Malaysians

More than 25,000 people have already been evacuated because of floods and landslides in low-lying states on Dec 26.


Van driver Rosli Mohd Yunus storing his family’s belongings in preparation for the floods on a makeshift frame at his house in Kampung Sepakat Baru in Johor Baru, Johor. PHOTO: THE STAR

December 28, 2023

JOHOR BARU – Year-end family holidays are always out of the question for school van driver Rosli Mohd Yunus.

“Although my children are on their term break and I am also free from work as school is out, we cannot go for a family getaway in December.

“We have to keep a close eye on our house in Kampung Sepakat Baru here in case of floods because it is a low-lying area,” said the 42-year-old when interviewed by The Star.The father of two said flooding was common in his village due to its proximity to Sungai Skudai.

The weather had been unpredictable in the past few weeks where it was hot one moment and heavy downpour the next, he added.

“There were a few times when water rose to ankle level in front of my house. Thankfully, it did not reach my house, but we are all worried that it is only a matter of time.

“We usually have to stay on high alert towards the end of the year and early January because of the floods.

“My children have asked me to take them for a holiday after seeing their friends share about their trips. I had to explain to them about the situation and promised to take them another time,” said Rosli.

His mother-in-law Salasiah Muhammad Zabri, who also stays in the same village, said her house was badly flooded in 2021 when the water reached about 1.5m high.

“I could only save my important documents and evacuated to the temporary relief centre (PPS) nearby.

“All my other belongings like furniture and electrical products, including a freezer and equipment used for my frozen food business, were destroyed in the disaster,” she said.

The 62-year-old added that she returned home three days later to thick mud and a stench which took more than two weeks to clean up.

She also had to buy new furniture and household items on instalment basis.

Salasiah added that she has been watching updates on the situation in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Selangor as she was worried that Johor would be hit next.

More than 25,000 people were reportedly evacuated because of floods and landslides in the four states on Tuesday.

In Johor, the Kompleks Taman Negara Endau-Rompin PPS in Mersing began operating at 6pm Tuesday to house 25 Orang Asli families, with 83 victims from Kampung Orang Asli Peta.

As of 2pm Tuesday, two PPS also opened in Segamat to house 25 people from five families.

The affected villages are Kampung Seberang Batu Badak in Jementah and Kampung Sermin in Pemanis.

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