Govt needs to implement long-term plans to address flood impacts - MPs

04 Mar 2022 10:25am
A car submerged in floodwaters in Kampung Tersang, Rantau Panjang on March 3, 2022. - BERNAMA
A car submerged in floodwaters in Kampung Tersang, Rantau Panjang on March 3, 2022. - BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR - Several Members of Parliament today unanimously urged the government to carry out holistic long-term plans to overcome the impacts of floods.

Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim (BN-Baling) said the government needed to emulate the Thai government in building flood mitigation projects at the border of Sungai Golok, Kelantan to reduce the effect of worsening floods.

"Unfortunately, we (Malaysia), have not completed ours...that is why floodwaters overflowed into residential areas in Rantau Panjang and its surrounding areas.

"Therefore, I am very confident with the announcement of RM4.172 billion budget for the Environment and Water Ministry in which RM1.6 billion is allocated to the Department of Irrigation and Drainage for the construction of the flood mitigation projects especially in flood-prone areas,” he said when debating on the Royal Address at Dewan Rakyat here on Thursday.

He said works to stabilise river banks, upgrade canals, river deepening, and the maintenance of rivers as well as reservoirs in the urban areas including Kuala Lumpur should be expedited.

Abdul Azeez was also of the view that the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) could propose to the government to implement a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) if the fund of the government for flood mitigation was insufficient.

In sharing the view, Dr Tan Yee Kew (PH-Wangsa Maju) said the country needs holistic solutions for floods especially in Kelantan and Terengganu, which have been occurring every year for the past several decades resulting in losses of properties and deaths.

"I was told by villagers that they were forced to live in flood areas as they could not afford to buy houses away from their villages.

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"The long-term solution is to relocate the entire village from flood areas to other safer locations,” she said.

She gave the example of what had happened in Selangor in 1926 in which the entire Kuala Kubu town was relocated to Kuala Kubu Baru now after the major flood apart from the proposal to build a retention pond in the town area as well as new guidelines in town planning.

Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (GPS-Bintulu) also said the government needed to speed up efforts to deepen rivers especially in Bintulu and Sibu, Sarawak as flood preventive measures in the state.

RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong) and Maria Chin Abdullah (PH-Petaling Jaya) also spoke on the same subject today.

The Dewan will sit again on Monday. - BERNAMA