Sixty per cent of Malaysians polled in a study did not believe that rural and and urban planning for floods in the country amid climate change was effective.
The whitepaper by sustainability-focused social enterprise Eco-Business Research, sponsored by pump solutions company Grundfos, noted that the proportion of Malaysian respondents who gave that response was the highest in the region and compared to those from Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
“This study also revealed nearly 70 per cent of respondents across South-east Asia predicted that their home country will continue to face extreme weather events over the next decade, taking a significant toll on local economies and infrastructure,” said Eco-Business Research and Grundfos in a joint statement today.
“The majority of respondents believe average temperatures have become higher and monsoon seasons have become more unpredictable.
“These predictions are particularly worrying for a country like Malaysia with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development already estimating that by 2070, the country’s most exposed cities could lose up to US$84 billion (RM359.5 billion) in combined assets due to severe weather events,” they added.
The “Flood Controls in South-east Asia” study showed that 74 per cent of Malaysian respondents believed government funding was insufficient to tackle extreme weather events like flooding and climate conditions.
A total of 66 per cent did not agree that Malaysia worked well with neighbouring nations to resolve climate change.
According to the paper, more than a quarter of the urban population of most Asean countries, including Malaysia, live in low-elevation coastal zones, which makes them susceptible to regular damage and deaths from flooding, even without the climate change factor.
The study, which surveyed 417 sustainability industry leaders from South-east Asia, highlighted the consistent message from respondents that not enough was being done at the local or regional level to prepare for climate change.
“In particular, the main concern seems to be that dry periods are getting longer and rainfall, when it occurs, is getting heavier,” said the paper.
The 2014-2015 massive flood in Kelantan, the worst in the history of the state, had displaced over 230,000 people and resulted in 21 deaths.
Kelantan and Terengganu were flooded last January, resulting in the closures of 122 schools and the evacuation of almost 24,000 people from their homes.-themalaymailonline