KUALA LUMPUR: As flood waters recede in Penang, it is time to examine what caused the most devastating flood in the state. MCA Religious Harmony Bureau Secretary Chris Daniel Wong said although many acknowledged that it is caused by extreme weather but the multiple hillslope development together with bad town planning were also found to have contributed to landslide occurrence. This as Penang Island city councillor Dr. Lim Mah Hui, puts it, the Penang government has approved 56 hillslope projects, to which state exco Chow Kon Yeow admitted that these projects had already taken place. “The Penang state government can pay RM305mil for some paper work for the incomplete undersea tunnel study but has merely allocated RM2.5mil for 33 emergency mitigation projects.
The Penang state government can pay RM305mil for some paper work for the incomplete undersea tunnel study but has merely allocated RM2.5mil for 33 emergency mitigation projects. FILE PIC
“Another RM275mil was allocated to build badminton courts and swimming pools. Even the state reserves were earmarked as bonuses for civil servants. “But why not make flood mitigation a priority in the state administration?” Many people had applauded the state government’s move of allocating a special RM100mil "Pulau Pinang Bangkit" post disaster fund to aid restoration effort, but Wong questioned as to why developers’ interest still come first, which ultimately led to the widening bald spot on Penang Hill “The RM100mil taxpayers’ money could be spared in the first place if the state government heeded the advices of Citizens Awareness Chant Group and other NGOs. “Why do the state government officials continue to deflect the meaning of flat lands and hillslope gradient to further confuse the people?” he asked. “Why the state government does not heed the orange alert warning given by the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MET) on 1 Nov and the subsequent yellow alert on 4 Nov?” Wong adds that there is a fine line between being a politician and a being a bureaucrat. “Many of these elected politicians in Penang still behave like the opposition instead of administrators”. He called upon the DAP-led Penang government to stop rationalising their mistakes and start doing something to address the recurring flood problem in the state. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd