Malaysia to check if the Netherlands still keen to send flood experts

malaysia to check if the netherlands still keen to send flood experts

Malaysia to check if the Netherlands still keen to send flood experts

KUALA LUMPUR: The plan to bring in flood experts from the Netherlands will need to be revisited as the European country will be changing its prime minister following a recent general election, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pic).

The Prime Minister said he would call the new Dutch Prime Minister once the Netherlands’ new government is formed to clarify the previous commitment to send in experts to help Malaysia in flood mitigation efforts.

“Recently, we received the nod from then (currently caretaker) Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte as the country has the experience (in dealing with floods) due to its high sea level and has one of the best flood mitigation strategies in the world.

“Rutte agreed to provide a technical team to come here to share their expertise.

“However, there was a change in (the Dutch) government, and the winning party was far-right extreme and anti-Islam and anti-minority,” he said during the Prime Minister’s Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (Nov 28).

Earlier, he was asked by Datuk Mohd Shahar Abdullah (BN-Paya Besar) if Malaysia had any plans to bring in experts from other countries such as the Netherlands to help mitigate the effects of climate change, especially floods.

Anwar added that he was unsure if the new Dutch prime minister would proceed with the commitment made by Rutte.

“I’m not sure if the plan will proceed because Rutte resigned earlier and the latest development (of the election) was not really encouraging.

“However, on behalf of the government, as the Prime Minister, I will contact the new prime minister if he’s still committed to going on with the collaboration,” he said.

On Nov 1, Anwar revealed that the government would get expertise from the Netherlands to improve its flood mitigation system in an effort to overcome the problem of annual floods.

The Netherlands had its general election on Nov 22, which resulted in the win for Geert Wilders’ far-right party Freedom Party (PVV) which won the most seats out of 150 contested.

Veteran Dutch anti-Islam politician Wilders on Saturday (Nov 25) vowed to be prime minister of the Netherlands eventually, following an election in which his party won the most seats, Reuters reported.

In a long post on X, formerly Twitter, that expressed frustration at other parties for their apparent unwillingness to cooperate with PVV, Wilders said he would “continue to moderate” his positions if necessary to gain power.

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