GEORGE TOWN: The Penang state government said today it is in shock over the announcement by Penang Action Council chairman Zainal Abidin Osman that the federal government spent RM2 billion on flood mitigation projects in Penang since the 10th Malaysia Plan.
State Executive Councillor for Local Government, Traffic Management, and Flood Mitigation, Chow Kon Yeow said: “We find this RM2 billion claim unbelievable and, therefore, ask Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman to provide details to prove that such projects were indeed implemented in Penang.”
He said in a press statement that based on records, the federal government had only implemented 12 projects costing RM124,745,837.95 during the 10th Malaysia Plan, from 2011-2015.
Chow said Zainal Abidin had also said the federal government had approved RM150 million for the Sungai Pinang flood mitigation plan in November 2016.
Saying the Penang government welcomed the project, Chow added that the federal government “must be held responsible for the 18-year delay which caused miseries to flood victims over all these years”.
Zainal Abidin, who is also Penang Umno liaison committee chairman, was reported to have said yesterday that the federal government had spent RM2 billion on flood control projects in Penang.
He said Putrajaya had spent RM1.493 billion under the 10th Malaysia Plan, including RM34 million for cleaning and treating Sungai Pinang, and RM404.5 million under the 11th Malaysia Plan.
In addition, he said, the federal government had approved RM150 million in November 2016 for the Sungai Pinang Flood Mitigation Project.
Chow added that the announcement confirmed that the federal government was “equally responsible” for flood mitigation in Penang.
He called on the federal government to honour its promises and carry out the projects speedily to alleviate flooding in Penang.
Last week, Penang was hit by major floods, with about 200 families having to be evacuated to flood relief centres. The flooding was said to be an after-effect of Typhoon Doksuri, which had earlier struck several countries, including Vietnam.
Today, Penang residents were told to take precautions following heavy rain. The rain began pouring at 3am, with about 15 areas in Seberang Perai experiencing 100mm to 400mm of floodwater.
The authorities advised Penangites to brace for worse to come this afternoon, with high tides expected to flood the banks of Sungai Pinang and many other parts of the island.