Caring for rakyat’s lives is government’s biggest responsibility

17 Oct 2022 05:00pm
Photo for illustration purposes only
Photo for illustration purposes only

SHAH ALAM – Entering the final quarter of the year, the eastern territory of Zhejiang and Fujian in China record extreme heatwave reaching temperatures of over 41 degrees Celsius in July.

In Japan, NHK broadcaster reported risks of increasing landslides and floods to the point that over 200,000 residents in five prefectures which were Niigata, Yamagata, Fukushima, Ishikawa and Fukui were instructed to evacuate in August.

In September, at least 57 deaths and 7,683 injuries were recorded in the flash floods in Pakistan that was triggered by the monsoon rain in 24 hours.

In Malaysia, the Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) stated that the country is in the final phase of the southwest monsoon which began on May 14.

The country was in the transitional phase of the monsoon beginning Oct 3 until early November.

This has led to trauma among the people in the country as they are forced to endure difficulty, fatigue and extreme fear due to frequent natural disasters reported.

This is especially when the country saw the worse flood in history late last year.

Allah SWT has said in Surah Al-Baqarah verse 155 that: “We shall certainly test you by afflicting you with fear, hunger, loss of properties and lives and fruits. Give glad tidings, then, to those who remain patient.”

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Explaining the verse, Karangkraf Media Group syariah executive Amiro Safwan Mohd Kamil said Allah tested people with five tests and one would go through at least one of the tests.

Karangkraf Media Group syariah executive Amiro Safwan Mohd Kamil
Karangkraf Media Group syariah executive Amiro Safwan Mohd Kamil

He said the verse might look like it is unrelated at first, but there are reasons why Allah mentioned “glad tidings” continued with the following verse which says: “Who, when disaster strikes them, say, "Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return." (Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 156).

Natural disasters are common phenomena caused by nature and human.

It could happen at any time without warning.

The effects it bring to people are loss of homes, destruction of properties, livestock and plants and could also lead to something more serious like injuries and deaths.

World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) secretary-general Petteri Taalas in a statement said the climate science shows that many of the extreme weather events that we are experiencing are due to human-induced climate change.

"We have seen this repeatedly this year, with tragic effect. It is more important than ever that we scale up action on early warning systems to build resilience to current and future climate risks in vulnerable communities,” Taalas said in the statement.

It is a fact that nature is vulnerable in the hands of humans.

This could be proven through the reports on frequent landslides along the roads in Cameron Highlands in Pahang due to levelling of the highland, threatening the nature and people.

Taking into account the implications, Amiro said the role of the government through its agencies to properly manage this is important to make sure the people are protected.

The matter was stated through the Maqasid Syariah core principle in Imam al-Ghazali’s book Al-Mustasfa in which preservation of life is one of the five main elements in Maqasid Syariah.

“Not merely protecting your own life, but others too especially when it involves people under your care such as family and the rakyat.

"As long as they are human, we have the right to care for their lives. This involves people from all walks of life without discrimination be it race, gender, skin colour, background and religion," Amiro explained.

He said even though Allah breathed into the body of man spirit (Ruh), the spirit belonged to Him.

"This means that the responsibility to care for lives is shouldered mostly by the government in ensuring the people’s welfare is protected and make sure they are not exposed to danger," he said.

“That is how big the role of the government is in taking care of the people's lives (and interests), even if a breadwinner (father) in a family dies, the government needs to know about it and help the family until they are able to stand on their own feet,” he said.

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