November 6, Kuala Lumpur – The Penang state government needs to review the water drainage and irrigation system to cope with the volume of heavy rain in the state, said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
He said the water flow to the rivers should be managed in the best possible way to prevent the occurrence of severe floods in future.
“In the last 20 years there has never been such a flood in Penang. This is not flash floods but floods,” he told a media conference here today on the floods that hit Penang following heavy rain and bad weather since Saturday.
Wan Junaidi said the DAP-led state government needed to allocate funds to overcome the problem while projects on hill slopes should not be carried out to prevent landslides in residential areas and roads.
He said the average rainfall in Penang is 250 millimetres in a day exceeding the heavy rain category of 150 mm while the flood situation was compounded by high sea tide of between 2.8 metres to 3 metres high.
The northern states of the peninsula like Perlis, Kedah and Penang are expected to face floods in the event of heavy rain until the end of the transition from the southwest monsoon to the northeast monsoon at month’s end, he said.
“Penang is unique because it is an island, the floods that hit the state is not similar to those occuring in Kelantan and Terengganu and the system to overcome floods also differ while in Kedah, it is safer due to its land mass besides hills and forests that can absorb the water,’ he said.
Wan Junaidi said the RM150 million Sungai Pinang Flood Mitigation Plan in Penang which was expected to be implemented early next year could help mitigate flood woes in the state.
He said development projects in Penang needed to be implemented well, especially in terms of water drainage and irrigation management.
Nationwide, he said 16 flood mitigation projects involving a cost of RM4.3 bilIion are expected to be launched in the next few months.