How Malaysians showed up for each other through #DaruratBanjir

·4-min read
Volunteers assisting in the relief and rescue of residents in affected areas in Taman Sri Muda, Section 25 Shah Alam, December 20, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Volunteers assisting in the relief and rescue of residents in affected areas in Taman Sri Muda, Section 25 Shah Alam, December 20, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 — On the weekend before Christmas, Malaysians in eight states were hit by some of the worst floods that the country had seen in years, paralysing highway users, stranding families and sweeping away homes, vehicles and livelihoods.

Authorities appeared to have been caught off-guard, with some reports saying several victims were stranded for three days with no idea whether help was on its way.

On Twitter, Malaysians banded together, showing their #KitaJagaKita spirit once more, as a new movement #DaruratBanjir started trending.

Aside from using the hashtag to relay the location of those in need, it was a mobilising agent as some groups tried to coordinate help.

Many Twitter users shared details of trapped victims, and even stranded animals, with the hope that they would be heard by rescue teams.

Some used the social media platform to ask for assistance, while others used it to vent their frustrations with the authorities.

Malaysians stepped up, with offers of vehicle loans, food, volunteering, and even shelter for animals.

Others were specific in their collection — such as sanitary pads — or “advertised” their willingness to come to victims’ aid with their vehicles or boats.

Below is just some of the help available to last weekend’s flood victims:

1. An open source Google sheet was set up and shared, containing up to 100 contacts of rescue groups and individuals, and lists the kind of vehicle owned (4x4s/boats) with contact numbers and details of what they are offering, and how can be reached. Most are within the Klang Valley and Shah Alam.

2. Gurdwara Sahib Petaling Jaya is running a food bank that sends hot meals to flood victims in the Klang Valley and Selangor. They are delivering meals in bulk to any areas they can reach. Meals are vegetarian and halal, and they accept food donations.

They are also collecting female hygiene items plus other necessities to be delivered to affected areas.

3. Kembara Kitchen is working with NGOs and other groups to provide relief for victims. They are preparing hot meals for flood victims and will also accept emergency relief items such as water, diapers, mattresses and baby milk, as well as donations in kind and cash.

4. Twitter user Tasneem has opened up her home to foster all kinds of pets — provided they are in cages or small aquariums — and has enlisted the help of a pet store to provide essentials when needed. Similarly, many others are looking out for abandoned or rescued pets too.

5. Twitter user Yoong has come up with a list of medications that are useful in such a crisis — information that can come in handy for first responders and relief centres to treat allergic reactions, flare-ups, infections and so on. His tweet has been shared and retweeted almost 5,000 times.

6. An interactive app by Kita Jaga helps to link those who need necessities such as food and basic supplies to others nearby who can assist them. The app uses a mapping system similar to the White and Purple Flag movements that were popular during the pandemic. The user-friendly interface gives you the option of clicking either the “needing help” (Perlu Bantu) or “want to help” (Ingin Bantu) buttons.

At the time of writing, there are still hundreds of lifebuoy and wave pins scattered across the map.

7. Another Twitter user Muhd Ariff received delivery of his new lorry for his business, but decided to “officiate” it as a delivery truck for food and relief items. In light of troubling times, he offered his vehicle to those in need, most recently, for a journey from Ipoh to the Klang Valley ferrying essentials.

8. Meanwhile, groups such as Bulan Sisters and Pastels Shop are collecting or offering “self care” or sanitary kits for a small sum.

9. There are numerous available avenues to donate funds, from well-intentioned individuals to political and non-governmental groups like Mercy Malaysia, Malaysian Relief Agency, as well as mosques.

Muar MP Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman announced that his party Muda had collected more than RM1 million for flood relief efforts. His team has been mobilising people to evacuate flood victims from danger zones, as well as bring food to relief centres.

As of yesterday, eight individuals have been confirmed dead after torrential rain over the course of two days caused massive floods in eight states, displaced more than 50,000 people and left thousands of homes and businesses underwater.

Related Articles Nadma: 210 locations across six states still flooded as of this morning Report: Port Klang operations returning back to normal Malaysians prove again we are our own heroes

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting