Climate linked disaster aid and relief for vulnerable families and women in Malaysia : Accessibility and recourse to legal avenues

May Yee Ng, Chee Fei Chang

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Climate change phenomena has increasingly brought frequent floods to Malaysia. It has affected almost one fifth of the population annually. Numerous studies have confirmed that adverse impact of climate change is most felt by those who are vulnerable, namely the poor and women. The former lacks the capacity to recuperate, while the latter is incapacitated by their traditional caretaking role. Public relief is the key to mitigate their suffering. Therefore, the primary aim of this project is to examine the adequacy of aids given to the vulnerable groups, viewed from their perspective as flood victims. Inefficiency in the public system could be rectified if plight is brought to the attention of the public administrator. Hence the secondary aim of this study is to examine how far the vulnerable groups are aware of their rights to be aided and the recourse available to secure their rights. Data is gathered by way of qualitative interview. Their encounter is further verified by visual inspection at temporary relief centres and input from non-governmental disaster relief providers. Data is analysed using the template analysis and iconological analysis approach. Findings reveal that both groups received sufficient food and shelter aid during the emergency situations. There is some evidence of female biological need being addressed by including female sanitation products in aid packages, but efforts are still inadequate. Living condition at the temporarily relief centre somehow lacks quality and is insensitive towards disability and age differences. Findings also reveal that the vulnerable groups are aware that they have rights to be aided. However, they lack the knowledge of means to raise their plight. For women, this predicament is aggravated by constrains inherited in patriarchy culture that is still largely practiced among rural community. Inability to voice means women will risk continued marginalisation in future policy making process.
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyGlobal Challenges Research Fund
Number of pages54
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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