GEORGE TOWN: The federal government only spent RM443 million on flood mitigation projects in Penang from 2006 to the present date, the state government said today.
It made the statement to refute Natural Resources and Environment Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar’s recent remark that “RM2.6 billion” worth of flood mitigation projects were implemented in Penang.
Junaidi’s claim was supported by the Penang Federal Action Council chief Zainal Abidin Osman, who issued a list of flood mitigation projects worth RM2.04 billion purportedly carried out by the federal government.
The federal leaders’ statements came after the Penang government asked for “at least RM1.1 billion” which it claimed was the balance of funds allocated for flood mitigation projects in the state.
At a press conference today, state flood mitigation committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow stood by the state government’s RM1.1 billion claim, based on numbers provided by the drainage and irrigation department.
He said that in the 9th, 10th and 11th Malaysia Plans, the federal government allocated a total of RM1.79 billion for flood mitigation in Penang.
However, Chow said, the actual funds received for flood mitigation were significantly reduced in each of the plans.
He said in the 9th Malaysia Plan (2006-2010), RM1.4 billion was allocated but the amount was amended to RM306 million and the entire allocation was spent.
In the 10th Malaysia Plan (2011-2015), only RM193 million was allocated and only RM132 million given, while RM125 million of it was spent.
In the current 11th Malaysia Plan (2016-2020), only RM205 million was allocated but only RM23 million was received to-date. Of the RM23 million, only RM12 million was spent.
“As you can see from the breakdown, it is clear that many flood mitigation projects were not implemented in full to resolve the flood woes in Penang,” Chow said.
“Zainal should not have hidden these important facts when putting up the list of flood mitigation projects.
“The Penang government has the right to ask the federal government to fulfil its responsibility to deal with the flood woes in Penang.”