Malaysia PM cuts short holiday to visit flood-hit areas | News | DW | 27.12.2014
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Malaysia PM cuts short holiday to visit flood-hit areas

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has visited flood-stricken areas in the country's northeast. He cut short a holiday which had included golf with US President Barack Obama.

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak on Saturday oversaw the flood response effort in the state of Kelantan. He was due to visit flood victims after having cut short his holiday to the United States.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak walk off the 18th hole while playing a round of golf at the Clipper Golf course on Marine Corps Base Hawaii during Obama's Christmas holiday vacation in Kaneohe, Hawaii, December 24, 2014.

Malaysia's prime minister was criticized for playing golf during the floods

Pictures of him playing golf in Hawaii with US President Barack Obama prompted public outrage from Malaysians who accused him of being absent while the situation worsened.

At lease five people have been killed and about 160,000 people have been displaced in Malaysia's worst flooding in decades.

From the air, areas near Kota Bharu, the state capital of Kelantan, resembled a muddy lake with rows of rooftops the only indication of the streets below. The other worst-affected states are Terengganu and Pahang.

The northeastern regions of Malaysia regularly endure flooding in the annual monsoon season but the rains this year have been unusually heavy.

Rescue and relief efforts have been made more difficult by the strong currents and rapidly rising waters. Some victims of the flooding expressed anger at authorities, saying they had been slow to provide assistance.

"I am angry with them [the government]. We don't care about their politics. We just want the government to do what they should do and help us," 23-year-old Farhana Suhada, who had abandoned her home and was sheltering at a relief center outside Kota Bharu, told news agency AFP.

se/shs (AFP, Reuters, dpa, AP)

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