GEORGE TOWN – Penang executive councillor Chow Kon Yeow disclosed today that only RM443 million out of the RM1.79 billion allocation by Putrajaya have been spent for flood mitigation projects in the state.
The local government, traffic management and flood mitigation committee chairman said the federal government allocated RM1.4 billion under the ninth Malaysia Plan (RMK9), RM193 million under the 10th Malaysia Plan (RMK10) and RM205 million under the 11th Malaysia Plan (RMK11), which totalled RM1.79 billion.
“The allocations were reduced to RM461 million and to-date, only RM443 million were spent on flood mitigation projects in Penang,” he told a press conference here, referring to figures obtained from the state Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID).
He refuted claims by Penang Federal Action Council chairman Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Osman that the federal government had allocated a total RM2.6 billion for flood mitigation projects in Penang.
“From the information I gathered, the RM2.6 billion was the project costs applied by Penang DID but the original allocations by the federal government were amended and the actual sum spent was only RM443 million,” Chow said.
He added that if the federal government had spent the full RM1.79 billion on flood mitigation projects in Penang, the state would have been cleared of flash floods.
“The federal government has a bigger role to play compared to the local councils to implement flood mitigation projects in the state,” he said.
He said even with its limited funds, the state government and the local councils had already spent RM405 million on flood mitigation projects.
“We are very close to what have been spent by the federal government, they have more resources so they should spend more but they did not,” he said.
Chow said the state government did not want to find fault with the federal government over this issue but only hoped that Putrajaya could allocate more funds to implement flood mitigation projects in the state.
Yesterday, Zainal Abidin issued a statement saying the federal government had spent RM2 billion for flood mitigation projects in Penang.
He claimed the flood situation would be worse if not for the flood mitigation projects by the federal government.
He listed 25 federal funded flood mitigation projects under RMK9, RMK10 and RMK11 including the Sungai Pinang Flood Mitigation Plan that totalled RM2.04 billion.
Today, Chow said there are 77 flood hotspots in the state and out of the 77 hotspots, the state government had implemented flood mitigation projects in 28 hotspots.
“The state DID implemented the mitigation projects in the 28 hotspots and flood issues in those areas were resolved satisfactorily,” he said.
Currently in the pipeline are 15 more flood mitigation projects which will commence at the end of this year, he added.
He said the state will work on the balance 43 hotspots next year as the state DID is currently occupied with planning the 15 pending projects.