Penang govt not doing enough for flood mitigation, says MP


GEORGE TOWN: A Barisan Nasional MP has accused the Penang government of not doing enough to tackle the incidence of recurring flash floods in the state.

Dr Hilmi Yahaya said the Penang government was clearly sidelining the Balik Pulau parliamentary constituency in flood mitigation work, considering that nearly 50 families were displaced during the floods in Bayan Lepas, Teluk Kumbar, Teluk Bahang and Balik Pulau yesterday.

Hilmi, who is also deputy health minister, said this was despite a vow by the state government to resolve all flood problems in the Balik Pulau constituency.

“The issue of a faulty floodgate water pump, located at Kampung Nelayan, which could not take the volume of water at Sungai Teluk Kumbar, could have been fixed earlier on.

“The water pump is old and ought to have been replaced earlier, and the flooding could have been avoided altogether,” the former Penang deputy chief minister told reporters at the Teluk Kumbar Community Hall today.

Earlier, Hilmi met flood victims from 50 families affected by the floods. They were evacuated early yesterday morning.

Meanwhile, 147 flood victims from 35 families were still placed at the Teluk Kumbar Community Hall, the Penang Civil Defence reported.

Most of the victims are from Kampung Nelayan, Kampung Suluh and Kampung Paya.

Overall, 327 people from 89 families were transferred to the community hall since yesterday’s heavy downpour.

Yesterday’s rain began at 3am, with some 15 areas in Seberang Perai experiencing 100mm to 400mm of rainwater.

This was barely a week after the Sept 15 flash floods that saw 200 families evacuated to 11 flood relief centres, in what was said to be an after-effect of Typhoon Doksuri.