Agenda Daily

‘Is flood prevention not a priority in Penang?’

Penang MCA Youth chief Michael Lee Beng Seng questioned why the DAP-led government in Penang was not allocating enough funds to resolve the annual flood problem in Seberang Perai.

“Is the Penang government so desperate for money that such much-needed funds to save lives and prevent hardship have to be withheld? Is paying hundreds of millions to private companies to do reports more important than much-needed flood mitigation efforts?” he said in a statement.

“Will the Penang government inform victims that the reason why they have to endure frequent flooding is due to “technical reasons”?”

He said this since the state government paid RM200 million in consultancy fees for the construction of three roads measuring at 20 km and the consultancy fee was 400% above the standardised gazette sale by Board of Engineers Malaysia.

The amount was more than the total amount of RM100 million that the Penang government had claimed to have spent on flood mitigation efforts for nine years since 2008.

He also highlighted the findings of the 2016 Auditor General report that revealed that the Seberang Perai Municipal Council withheld funds, received from developers mandatory contributions which was meant for flood prevention and drainage, meant for the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID).

“According the Auditor General’s Report, over the past few years the MPSP had only paid RM400,000 per year to the DID and had kept the rest. The reason given for such paltry payments was that the MPSP needed to manage their cash-flow,” he said.

“The AG report said that this withholding of payments had led to DID being unable to implement various much-needed flood mitigation projects in Seberang Perai.

“Is it any wonder that the AG Report also pointed out that Seberang Perai experienced the most floods last year – a staggering 21 times in 2016?”

He also revealed that when Penanti assemblyman Dr Norlela Ariffin of PKR raised the issue the state government clarified that it was a technical issue.-8/8/2017

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