Sabah CM hits at money wasted on flood study

The shallow rivers in Kota Belud district are a cause of frequent flooding, says chief minister Shafie Apdal. (Bernama pic)

KOTA BELUD: Implementation of the flood-mitigation plan for Kota Belud needs to be speeded up to minimise the impact of frequent floods after a continuous downpour, Sabah chief minister Mohd Shafie Apdal said today.

He said the federal government had allocated RM50 million to implement the plan in Kota Belud, but instead the money had been used to carry out a feasibility study on the plan.

Shafie said he held the study to be unnecessary as the causes of the frequent flooding were already known, such as the shallowness of the district’s rivers.

“There are some rivers (in Kota Belud) which need to be deepened and widened for smoother flow of the river waters. These are among the measures that should be taken” he told reporters after viewing the flood situation and meeting affected villagers here this evening.

Shafie said that the maintenance of drains in the district should be more efficiently carried out to prevent clogging, hence lessening the risk of floods.

Besides Kota Belud, nine other districts in Sabah, namely Tuaran, Putatan, Penampang, Papar, Beaufort, Keningau, Tenom, Kota Marudu and Pitas were also affected by floods after continuous heavy rain last Saturday.

Opposition scoffs at Warisan’s flood promises

Local opposition party SAPP said today that state government leaders should ship out for having failed so far to live up to their promise of solving the flood problem.

SAPP vice-president Aloysius Danim Siap said Warisan deputy president Darell Leiking had made a similar call to the previous Barisan Nasional government in 2017 for not resolving the perennial flooding in Penampang.

Siap accused the current state government of not doing enough to seek a long-term solution to the flooding.

He said Shafie Apdal in 2018 had also blamed the Penampang flooding on logging activities. “But it’s been two years now, the floods have become worse. Is it because of more logging in Keningau?” he said.

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