Voices Up North - Pas' Credibility Flooded & Washed Away
My my, it has been a week wrecked with water, and with revelations to boot. It was the week that wrecked the credibility of azizan and his pas government, I was extremely busy during the floods, helping out moving things and even at one small portion of a time (less than a day), joined Mercy Malaysia volunteers in distributing aid to flood victims.
This is the time to look back and witness the hardship suffered by everybody who was affected by the flood waters, as the water barges through premises and other places without any bearing on ethnicity, religion or even political leanings - it's all fair game. The losses are huge and the traumas...well, this will be something that will repeat every time it rains heavily in Kedah.
It has been raining every one or two days since last Friday, but mainly in the Alor Setar area and not in the water-catchment region of Padang Terap. Furthermore, the rain has not been that frequent, nor has it been that heavy, giving everybody in Alor Setar sighs of relief as nobody can predict what's going to happen next.
Why am talking about Padang Terap and Alor Setar area? Ok, let me be a bit detailed: Alor Setar is one of the lowest geographical points of area in Kedah and the river in Padang Terap is of a higher point. The heavy downpour causes the river to swell and flood areas in Padang Terap. Next, the water flows downstream to Alor Setar where the water meets the sea. Of course, other places along the river will be flooded if the river breaks its bank. The on-rushing water however, fails to be released into the sea totally, due to the high-tide and this causes the river to spill all over the low places in Alor Setar. In some places, the paddy fields become natural retention ponds, delaying the spread of water, but those located next or near to the river didn't stand much chance.
For azizan to add that the Electrified Double Tracking Project (EDTP) worsened the flood...well, I lost count of how many engineers were laughing at the statement...never actually improved his credibility, and many flood victims wished that Azizan would actually go back to sleep. I must disagree on that, as his house was also flooded, how in the world would that man get any sleep? In 2005, Padang Terap recorded a rainfall of an average of 140-160mm that spewed flooding in places along the river all the way to Alor Setar. This year, the recorded rainfall was between 250-270mm, so with or without the double tracking rail project, Alor Setar was doomed to flood on a greater scale. Common sense prevails that massive on-rushing water from the river meets the high tide from the sea, the river will definitely break its bank and engulf any low lying areas. Due to this, 80% of Alor Setar was flooded. Maybe Azizan was poorly informed, or maybe he was asleep. On the other, why Guan Eng has been so against EDTP for the past few years? Well, that's a different story.
Azizan was very upset with the media for stating that the state government did not help those who were affected by the flood. The cocked-up job done by Syarikat Air Dato Azizan...oops, Darul Aman (SADA) didn't help, and the disappearance of Pas Assemblymen only broke the camel's back. Azizan's burst of temper served nobody, and his barring of mainstream media from covering the State Assembly only created more whispers even from the pas camp. Thanks Azizan, you took so much action except in helping the flood victims. Anyway, we understand that Azizan just came out from a "mb-exco bashing" session" during the State Exco Meeting where all matters relating to the flood cannot be formulated or resolved and the glaring evidence of state government's short-comings during the great flood are too obvious. It is understandable that he came to the press-conference already in choler, and the journalists' barrage of questions on why the state never helped was the last straw which gave azizan a good excuse to vent his fury.
The SADA business that didn't help much I mentioned? It's like this:
As the water plant in Bukit Pinang was flooded as well, water supply to most parts of Alor Setar was disrupted, including those which were not affected by the floods. A report received from one of the housing areas in Mergong stated that, after 2 days of having no water supply, and despite SADA promising to send water, nothing came. However they found out that SADA has been sending water 3 times a day to an all-female dormitory for students of a MARA Polytechnic, without bothering to give any to the residents on the same street. This, and with more than 40 families on that particular street having no water to wash, cook and bath with. This resulted with the SADA lorry drivers and supervisors to be on the receiving end of verbal abuse. Luckily the issue was resolved when some of the residents decided to accompany and escort the SADA water truck to refill and return with water to the area.
I have to admit that it is unfair to say that pas/pkr state assemblymen were not around. While the water was rising in an area located in an area on the way from Alor Setar to Kepala Batas, the pas assemblyman turned up at several houses which were being engulfed by the rising water. The house owners were given some money to ease their burden. I wonder what will the money buy for them during that time? Anyway, he was scoffed at and given a severe tongue-lashing by the residents and was not seen again for the next few days. There is also another report of another young pas state assemblyman who sent out a pick-up truck laden with boxes of mineral water in the morning to relief centers and returned in the evening with the same amount. What about the pas assemblyman who took back his contribution after feeling that the relief center has enough of it already?
The biggest irk among all was during the peak of the flooding when the water reached the junction of Lebuhraya Sultanah Bahiyah-Jalan Langgar-Alor Setar Utara Toll Plaza. All day long a truck with a big DAP flag was seen driving around, empty except for the driver. Nobody knows what it was up to, it never went to help anybody, nor did the truck go to any relief centers; it seems to be circling the Lebuhraya Sultanah Bahiyah-Jalan Tun Abdul Razak area. That actually drew the ire of the 95% Malay population there, where one flood victim stated, "Kalau tak mau tolong beghambuih la, satgi oghang semua penampag muka hang baghu nak tau" (If you don't want to help then leave, or we'll slap you good). It is strange that it is the only vehicle that carried a political flag. The fleet of Putra and Pemuda UMNO's relief efforts never carried any flag nor were there any indications that they came as a political party. So, to DAP, all we can say is, "Take that flag of yours, roll it down, turn it up sideways, and cram it up your...well, to where it doesn't actually belong."
It is sad to hear from volunteers such Mercy Malaysia who were nagged at, and in certain places, even turned away from distributing aid to flood victims. This happened in relief centers controlled by idiots (no, not mahfuz) from pas. I guess their ideology and their far-away distance from understanding Islam is to great that they would rather let victims who had to shelter there be deprived from necessary assistance. Ok, that was Alor Janggus, but most of the relief centers which were controlled by pas could not stop the flood victims from demanding aid from Mercy, and in most pas-controlled relief centers, even pas controllers themselves could not resist the aid given, such as the "much-talking, less brain activity ustaz" at Sekolah Agama Mergong. Mercy Malaysia distributed specially packed hygiene kits to ensure the health and sanitary beings of flood victims as the waters will bring many types of disease. Merci, Mercy, for braving such an endearing and thankless feat.
And now for something worse than the floods...yes, you guessed it: mahfuz. Yes, yes, he finally came back after the waters receded to visit a few places which were affected by the floods. It caused quite a sensation when he gave out some sort of aid to victims in an area in Telok Wan Jah. Sensation? Yes, he chose to contribute some relief to a number of houses who he knew as his supporters, leaving out the others, including those who might really need help. It's strange because the flood was indiscriminate in choosing which house to submerge, and the Federal government was indiscriminate as well, but mahfuz? Ah well, it's mahfuz. Maybe somebody should try to explain to him the concept of charity in Islam.
Talking about mahfuz, it seems strange that he also accused the double tracking project as being the conduit in making the floods even worse. Funny nobody seems to notice how the weather was and how much water actually came down, and how in the world did the double tracking caused an even worse flood in areas such as Kepala Batas, Jitra and/or even Padang Terap? But then again, let me quote a line from Pas supporters themselves. "Be serious, it's only mahpus (mahfuz)."
A huge thanks must be extended to Perak and Syabas for supplying water to the citizens of Alor Setar. We saw them coming day and night, and this assistance should bring relief to the over-worked employees of SADA. After Sunday last week there were more water-tankers from Syabas and Perak sending water to affected housing areas. To them, along with SADA, we owe them so much.
Ok, everybody now knows that nobody should complaint to the state about the hardship suffered because of the floods, or they'll hear the reply of "Shhh...nanti azizan mengamuk!" But seriously, azizan should stop pretending behind that dramatized fury and the heavily staged media-barring act because Kedahans know that he's trying to create a distraction. Why don't you come out to the areas affected and listen to what the people that pakatan rakyat conned last time to win have to say. Be frank, if they hurl verbal abuse, take it like a man...and never take it like mahfuz. But stop acting the goat, you look ridiculous, and worse, it gave no comfort to the victims whose life and property were ravaged by the oncoming slew of muddy water. Maybe because of that, azizan, along with his assemblymen, have water in their brains.