Malaysia is slowly recovering from the floods which ravaged the country causing at least 55 deaths.
Malaysia is slowly recovering from the floods which ravaged the country causing at least 55 deaths. Nearly one-quarter of the 166,000 displaced persons have now returned to their homes while communications are gradually being restored.
Torrential monsoonal rains turned much of the Malaysian Peninsula into a sea. The East Coast state bore the early brunt of the deluge, but the devastation and chaos soon spread to the rest of the country - driving people from their homes, cutting roads and isolating townships.
In the South-west, floodwaters swamped the old Portuguese coastal town of Malacca. The Malaysian Minister of Social Affairs, Tan Sri Fatimah, toured the stricken area to comfort refugees - who were inoculated against diseases. In other measures to prevent epidemics, the Health Ministry ordered people to either burn or bury rubbish from their flooded homes.
The Prime Minister, Tun Abdul Razak toured the capital, Kuala Lumpur, and some of the worst-hit rural areas. He criticised some people for not preparing for the rainy season. Explaining that there was a limit to what the government could do to prevent flooding, he urged people to save for a rainy day. They should keep their boats instead of exchanging them for scooters or cars.
As messages of sympathy poured in from many parts of the world, the British Navy and Singapore Air Force swung into action to help ferry in relief supplies.
Overall damage has been estimated at about 33 million American dollars. The outlook - according to the Malaysian Weather Bureau - is for fair weather.