Penang flood disaster due to karma, says Padang Besar MP


KUALA LUMPUR: An Umno MP today claimed that the severe storm which hit Penang over the weekend causing floods and landslides may have been a form of karmic retribution due to bad things committed by certain people.

Zahidi Zainul Abidin (BN-Padang Besar) said in his Dewan Rakyat speech, to debate the Supply Bill, that the public would end up suffering because of the misdeeds of such people.

“In this debate, I would also like to express my grief for those living up north as they had to bear with the flooding for two to three days,” he said.

“We must remember that the floods happened due to hill-cutting and poor development management in Penang. Do not forget.

“Sometimes, when we do bad things, like insulting religions, causing a clash between religions and organising festivals that are not in accordance with other people’s religion and inciting anger, there would of course be karmic retribution and the people will suffer,” he said.

Although he did not name the “festival”, Zahidi may have alluded to the Penang government’s decision to allow the annual Oktoberfest, the German festival which features different types of beer, to go on in the state last month.

Seven lives were lost due to floods and falling trees following a powerful storm that hit Penang and Kedah, from Saturday evening till Sunday morning.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had said that the massive flooding was a result of excessive rain recorded in the state over 15 hours.

He had said the equivalent of one-and-a-half months’ of rain was recorded in the state in less than 24 hours.

High tide at the time also worsened the problem as the water could not drain into the sea quickly.

Earlier today, Urban Well-Being, Housing and Local Government Minister Noh Omar had said that the disaster was due to a broken dam and abnormal weather conditions.

“I was also told that a dam broke, causing water from outside Penang to flow into the state,” he said during question time in the Dewan Rakyat. He did not name the dam.

He had also called for better management of green lungs, hill slopes and drainage systems.