November 14, BUTTERWORTH – The number of hillslope projects approved by the Penang government since coming into power in 2008, is eight times higher than the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) administration, says MIC president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.
“Through what was discussed at the Cabinet meeting, we were told in the short span the DAP took over, the number of hillslope development approved may be seven to eight times more than what was approved by the previous BN-led government,” he told reporters, here, today.
He said one of the causes identified for the frequent floods was continuous development regardless of environmental damage and the need to provide appropriate drainage, especially when carrying out hillslope development
“The impact of development is important because environmental damage will bring about various natural disasters.
“The Penang state government needs to learn from the recent floods given the disaster level is deemed different from the floods before,” he told reporters after presenting aid to some 400 families of flood victims in Bagan Dalam and Perai.
Dr Subramaniam, who is also Health Minister, said throughout the natural disaster that hit Penang, medical services had continued without disruption.
Patients were transferred without any problems, although several health clinics in Seberang Perai were inundated with flood waters, he added.
“The ministry has a standard operating procedure (SOP) during floods. Apart from providing emergency supplies, health teams will go to assist flood victims at the relief centres,” he said.
The minister said the presence of healthcare personnel at the relief centres was crucial in order to control the spread of infectious diseases and to ensure the safety and hygiene of water and food supplies for the flood victims.
Meanwhile, Dr Subramaniam said the ministry had yet to receive any report on the outbreak of water-borne diseases following the floods.
“We urge all residents in the states (hit by floods) to drink boiled water and eat cooked food to avoid being exposed to water-borne diseases,” he said.