Courtesy of Thapaliya Shreeram

If the last few years have revealed anything, one of the most terrifying discoveries should be that if a particular crisis is not affecting America or another developed country, then a vast majority of the public simply does not care that something is happening. Sadly, this is the fate currently resigned to the flooding going on in Malaysia; a quick Google search yields that no major journalism sites have covered these specific floods at the time of writing. Very few people seem to know about them, and apart from a few efforts by the Malaysian prime minister, even the Malaysian government is not making the flooding global news. This should be the last of world tragedies to go unnoticed, and major journalism sources should uphold their responsibility to report on these atrocities in the same way they address much less useful information.

As of writing, a reported 28,000 people have been forced to evacuate their homes because of the flooding. Though this is currently nowhere near the number of displaced people from the 2014 floodings, this number of people is still far too great. Even worse, there has been very little reporting on whether or not the government has done anything to help these individuals, although the statistic of  71% of Malaysian citizens who believe that their government is corrupt could reveal the reason why very little has happened. These people are being displaced from their homes and need aid, yet the powerful countries of the Global North who are usually quick to send help are not openly condemning the lack of assistance from the Malaysian government. In fact, some of the only outside aid coming to Malaysia is coming from small organizations such as Islamic Relief Worldwide. Disappointingly, there is very little reporting on this issue, and though it could be blamed by the state of the coronavirus pandemic shifting daily, this is still no excuse for big journalism publications to turn a blind eye to devastating disasters such as this one.

Of course, this is not the first of major disasters that the mainstream media is failing to cover, or that the world has seemed to turn a blind eye to. The ongoing issue of the Uighur concentration camps in China has not been kept in the news cycle the way it deserves to be, with the majority of mainstream media seeming to acknowledge the issue in only one article or news section to satisfy people who were raising awareness on social media about these atrocities, before dusting off their hands and almost ignoring the issues entirely. There have not been any local news stations that have consistently commented on these disasters to keep them at the forefront of the public’s consciousness. Although major American events such as a rocky election season have seized the world stage, in addition to the global pandemic, there is still no excuse for the world to ignore major human rights violations and disasters such as major flooding going on in less developed countries. Disasters should not only matter to the world simply because they are only happening in or to major world powers. The importance of human life does not stop mattering simply because the countries or minorities being affected do not often show up on the world stage. 

Mainstream media must stand up and help raise awareness for these crises so that people are less likely to ignore them. Even despite political chaos and rapidly spreading viruses, we cannot choose to be ignorant towards catastrophic events where people are being hurt, killed and displaced. We must hold mainstream media accountable and demand that they push these stories so more awareness is spread. These countries cannot afford another day of being in the background because we are being allowed to live in ignorance of the atrocities affecting them. We, as a world population, cannot afford to sit another day in ignorance of these people. We must help our fellow human beings and push the narratives of these events so those affected can be assisted and freed.