M'sia cancels New Year's Eve celebration as over 72,000 displaced by floods in Kelantan & Terengganu

This is the second year in a row that Malaysia has cancelled New Year's celebrations due to floods.

Tan Min-Wei | December 22, 2022, 07:27 PM

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Heavy rains in the north eastern Malaysian states of Kelantan and Terengganu have displaced over 72,000 residents.

In response, Malaysia Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has announced relief measures, along with the gesture of canceling New Year's Eve celebrations that were meant to be held at Merdeka Square.

Torrential rains

Reuters reports that torrential rains over the past week have forced over 72,000 people to evacuate their homes. Bernama said that over 66,000 people are currently being housed at emergency relief centres.

In floods reminiscent of those that hit the southern Malaysian state of Johor in 2021, Malaysian social media posts showed waist high water in towns and homes, with water sweeping through shops and roads at alarming speed.

Bernama warned that as of Dec. 22, four rivers in Kelantan recorded dangerous water levels.

Anwar visited relief centre

Anwar visited some of the afflicted areas on Dec. 21, touring a relief centre and speaking to families being housed there.

He announced several relief measures, including RM100 million (S$30.5 million) in aid for Kelantan and Terengganu.

Prior to his visit, he said that New Year's Eve celebrations, meant to be held in Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur, would also be called off.

This is the second year running where floods have caused New Year celebrations to be cancelled, according to the Malay Mail.

Celebrations were also canceled in 2021 as a sign of respect for victims of heavy flooding. They were replaced with religious events.

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Top image via @wifeyjintae/Twitter & Anwar Ibrahim/Facebook