This aerial view shows houses submerged in floodwaters in Pengkalan Chepa, near Kota Bharu on 27 December 2014. Photo: Mohd Rasfan / AFP Photo

By Satish Cheney
27 December 2014

(AFP) – Rescue teams struggled Saturday to reach inundated areas of northeast Malaysia as victims accused the government of being slow to provide assistance after the country's worst flooding in decades.

Malaysians have vented their anger at Prime Minister Najib Razak after the release of photos which went viral on social media showing him playing golf with US President Barack Obama during the storms.

The number of people forced to flee their homes climbed past 120,000 with weather forecasters warning of no respite for the northeastern states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang.

The under-fire Najib, meanwhile, arrived in Kelantan to lead the national flood response after cutting short his vacation in Hawaii and was expected to meet flood victims.

Torrential northeast monsoon rains leading to massive flooding in northeast Malaysia has taken the lives of five people.

This region is regularly hit by flooding during the annual monsoon, but this year's rains have been unusually bad.

Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin admitted rescuers were facing challenges with power outages and roads being washed away by the floods.

"I admit the situation is challenging to the rescue workers and we are trying our best to make sure that the food arrives to the victims depending on the flood situation," he was quoted as saying by the Star newspaper.

Military helicopters and trucks were seen in Kota Bharu area, which is near the border with southern Thailand, but rescue efforts were being hampered by fast rising waters and strong currents while roads to hard-hit areas were impassable.

"The severity and scale of the floods had taken the authorities completely by surprise as it was worse than anticipated, overwhelming all disaster management plans and preparations," Lim Kit Siang, veteran opposition MP with the Democratic Action Party said in a statement Saturday. [more]

Rescuers struggle to reach flood victims in Malaysia as anger mounts


A family ride in a boat through floodwaters in Pengkalan Chepa, near Kota Bharu, Malaysia, on 26 December 2014. Photo: AFP Photo

By Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah, Panarat Thepgumpanat, and Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Praveen Menon and Robert Birsel
28 December 2014

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – The worst flooding in Malaysia in more than a decade has killed 10 people and forced nearly 160,000 from their homes and more rain is expected, authorities said on Sunday.

Among the casualties, five were in the worst-hit state of Kelantan, in northeastern peninsular Malaysia. Over the border in southern Thailand, 14 people have been killed in the floods that began in mid-December.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak toured some of the worst-hit areas this weekend, following his return from a vacation in Hawaii on Friday.

Najib was criticized for his absence during the calamity, after being photographed playing golf with President Barack Obama.

Northeastern Malaysia and southern Thailand are regularly hit by flooding during the annual northeast monsoon but this year the rain has been particularly heavy.

The Malaysian government said rain in Kelantan and southern Thailand would last for at least another week. An official in the southern Thai border town of Sungai Kolok said it would take up to two days for water levels to drop and for the border to be reopened.

Floods in Malaysia and Thailand kill at least 24


By Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah; Editing by Alex Richardson and Paul Tait
26 December 2014

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – More than 100,000 people have been evacuated from their homes by authorities in five northern states of Malaysia hit by the Southeast Asian' nation's worst monsoon floods in decades.

Extremely high levels of floodwater and bad weather have made relocating victims and the transport of food supplies by helicopters difficult, Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a statement.

A total of 103,412 people have been displaced in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Perak and Perlis, state news agency Bernama said, surpassing the previous record of 100,000 people evacuated during floods in 2008. [more]

Record numbers evacuated in Malaysia's worst floods in decades

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