Impacts of Disasters and Disaster Risk Management in Malaysia: The Case of Floods
Malaysia lies in a geographically stable region, relatively free from natural disasters, but is affected by flooding, landslides, haze and other man-made disasters. Disaster management in Malaysia is traditionally based almost entirely on a government-centric top-down approach. Because Malaysia’s main risk comes from flooding, national disaster mitigation institutions largely target monsoon flooding. However, this mechanism is less than effective and should be re-modeled into something more pro-active. The Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) is responsible for flood management. However, as an engineering-based organization, DID’s approach is largely focused on structural measures in controlling floods and lacks a holistic approach towards flood management. There is also a need for greater stakeholder participation, especially from NGOs at all levels in the disaster cycle. Malaysia should build capacity for NGOs, local communities and disaster victims. Disaster management mechanisms should also adopt more non-structural measures, bring in state-of-the-art technology and cooperate internationally with other countries for addressing transboundary disasters.
KeywordsDisaster Management Flood Hazard Flood Damage Flood Disaster Flood Forecast
The author gratefully acknowledges funding from the Long Term Research Grant Scheme (LRGS) “Project 5 – Economic Model for Flood Disaster Impact Analysis” and to the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) for funding the project “Economic and Welfare Impacts of Disasters in East Asia and Policy Responses”.
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