Promised RM3 bil but only given RM400 mil for flood mitigation, says Sabah

Donggongon town, the main township in Penampang, Sabah, flooded on June 28.

KOTA KINABALU: Past federal governments have given Sabah just slightly over RM400 million of a promised total of RM3 billion in the last 24 years to tackle floods in four districts, state Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Junz Wong said.

He said the flood mitigation plan for Penampang, Kota Kinabalu, Sepanggar and Putatan had been proposed during the 7th Malaysia Plan (1996-2000) but only RM512.02 million was approved in the 11th Malaysia Plan (2016-2020) by the state and federal governments.

“Of the RM512.02 million, slightly over RM100 million came from the state government, while the rest came from the federal government,” he said after chairing a Sabah Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) briefing of the flooding problem at Wisma Pertanian near here.

Also present were Penampang MP Darell Leiking, Moyog assemblyman Jenifer Lasimbang and Kapayan assemblyman Janie Lasimbang,

Wong said the funds were for the Kota Kinabalu master plan, Sungai Moyog flood mitigation plan, Putatan drainage master plan and the Alam Mesra Menggatal drainage plan.

Of the RM512.05 million, a total of RM95.8 million was approved for Kota Kinabalu (which requires RM1.93 billion), RM365.5 million for Penampang (which needs RM600 million) and RM50.75 million for Putatan (which needs RM450 million).

He said this was among the reasons why the flooding problem in the three west coast districts persisted until today.

Wong said a slew of other problems had also contributed to the floods, such as massive land clearing in the Penampang district, building of illegal structures on riparian reserves that belonged to the state, presence of squatters especially in areas like Putatan, and climate change.

He urged the authorities to start enforcing the laws to reclaim the land and clear illegal structures built near rivers to allow DID to continue with the flood mitigation projects.

On June 28, floods hit the three west coast districts, causing landslides and forcing hundreds to seek shelter. More than 500,000 residents were affected.

Following this, many residents asked the government when the flood mitigation projects would be completed.

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