Malaysia premier under fire for golfing with Obama

2014-12-25 14:53
US President Barack Obama watches Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razzak prepares to putt as they play golf at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. (Nicholas Kamm, AFP)

US President Barack Obama watches Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razzak prepares to putt as they play golf at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. (Nicholas Kamm, AFP)

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Kuala Lumpur - Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak was under fire at home on Thursday for spending his holiday golfing with US President Barack Obama in Hawaii while the country faces one of its worst floods.

More than 91 000 people have been displaced, the official news agency Bernama reported.

Netizens bombarded Najib's Facebook page with calls for him to return home and deal with the disaster after news reports surfaced about him playing golf with Obama.

Najib's latest Facebook post Thursday, in which he mentioned that he has contacted his deputy, who is also the chairman of the National Disaster Management Committee, to step up efforts to assist the victims, received over 1 300 comments. Many commenters took issue with him playing golf during the floods.

Bernama reported that as of noon on Thursday, over 91 000 people have fled their homes and were staying in the hundreds of shelters set up in the six states most affected.

The east coast states that face the South China Sea such as Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang were the worst hit. Many roads were cut off and train services to the east coast states were cancelled.

Kelantan saw the highest number of displaced victims at over 32 000 people. Part of the main hospital in the capital, Kota Bharu, had to be evacuated on Wednesday involving about 200 patients, according to the Harian Metro daily. Four people have died in Kelantan due to the floods that started last week.

Terengganu saw its first flood casualty on Thursday when a 14-year-old girl drowned after she fell into a river. Authorities there were still looking for a couple who fell into the water on Wednesday as they were being evacuated.

Terengganu recorded the second-highest number of evacuees at 29 059 people. The state government has cancelled all events planned to herald in the New Year next week.

Other states hit by floods were Perak, Perlis and Kedah on the west coast.

According to the meteorological department, the strong north-easterly winds, travelling at a speed of up to 60km/h sending waves as high as 4.5m off the east coasts, will continue until Saturday.

Read more on:    barack obama  |  malaysia  |  us  |  floods

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