PASIR GUDANG, Nov 12 — Humanity came first for Hassan Abdul Karim and Mohammad Raffi Beran when a heavy rainstorm struck Pasir Gudang yesterday, causing flash floods in several villages in the Johor parliamentary constituency.
They belong to different political parties and are vying to represent Pasir Gudang in this monsoonal 15th general election, but their first thought was to check on the safety of residents in the Masai area of Pasir Gudang.
Hassan, who is the Pakatan Harapan (PH) incumbent MP seeking re-election, told Malay Mail he got word of flash floods in Kampung Masjid and Kampung Sepakat while on the campaign trail elsewhere, and dropped what he was doing to rush there and see how he could help.
But the 71-year-old veteran lawyer said Mohammad Raffi who is from Pejuang and lives near Kampung Sepakat was first on the scene.
“We know each other and are on friendly terms. Mohammad Raffi also acts as a representative for the Malabari community in Pasir Gudang,” Hassan said when contacted this morning.
The Malabari refer to Muslims who were originally from Kerala in India.
Hassan said his team arrived at Kampung Sepakat at 5.30pm to assess the situation before heading to Kampung Masjid an hour later.
“I assisted by taking down the affected villagers particulars and updates from the state Drainage and Irrigation Department on the cause of the flash flooding this time,” he said.
He found out the flash flood happened because the heavy downpour had caused the nearby Sungai Masai to overflow and burst its banks.“I was told that the parts of the river need to undergo further deepening to support the higher water flow.
“Previously, the Sungai Masai had undergone cleaning and deepening works, but the process is still not effective,” he said.
Hassan, who had made a bold promise two days ago to free Pasir Gudang from the scourge of flash floods if he was voted back on November 19, said he will inform the Drainage and Irrigation Department and watch it closely for follow-up action.
There are two other candidates for Pasir Gudang: Noor Azleen Ambros from Barisan Nasional, and Mohamad Farid Abdul Razak from Perikatan Nasional.
The Johor Civil Defence Force issued a statement last night saying the flood waters in the Masai area of Pasir Gudang subsided that same evening.