Why wait for Putrajaya? Sarawak rich enough to fund Kuching’s flood mitigation, says rep

See Chee How says he will donate his one-month allowance to the state government as a contribution to the flood mitigation fund November 23, 2018. — Picture by Sulok Tawie
See Chee How says he will donate his one-month allowance to the state government as a contribution to the flood mitigation fund November 23, 2018. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

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KUCHING, Nov 23 — PKR’s Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How today asked the state government to disburse RM150 million from the approved state development expenditure allocation for immediate flash flood mitigation measures for Kuching City.

He said there is no need to wait for federal funding for the flood mitigation measures since RM150 million represents only 1.6 per cent of the RM9.037 billion expenditure set aside for development projects to be implemented throughout the state.

“We were told that RM150 million has been approved by the previous federal government for specific flash flood mitigation projects in the city,” he told reporters.

He said the federal funding, however, has yet to be channelled to the state government.

He said the state government should treat solving the flash floods with urgency, adding that last night’s flash floods were among the worst in recent years.

See said flash floods need to be dealt with and resolved urgently as they cause major inconvenience to the public, damage to property, and pose threats to personal injuries, even causing deaths.

“On my part, with Batu Lintang situated in Kuching City and a large part is affected by the flash flood last night, I am sending a month of my monthly allowance to the Chief Minister’s Office, as my contribution to any efforts by the state government for the financial needs for flash flood mitigation projects or flash flood relief aids which the state may carry out,” he said.

“Let us all play our part to resolve this pressing issue. In my case, my one month’s allowance may be akin to contributing a brick to the project, but I hope that the state government will be kind enough to contribute a ‘jade stone’, from the state coffers, to carry out the needed projects,” he said.

He said the state needs a concerted effort and the political will to resolve the problem of flash flood in all the cities and towns in Sarawak.

“The federal government is very concerned with the flash floods last night. At the request of the state Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, I had contacted the federal Minister of Water, Land and Natural Resources Dr Xavier Jayakumar,” he said.

He said Dr Jayakumar agreed to meet with Dr Sim, who is now overseas, on December 5 to discuss matters relating to flood mitigation and the federal funding.

See attributed the occurrence of flash floods in the city to the lack of enforcement on existing laws and regulations.

“A case in point is Section 23 of the Building Ordinance 1994 is not being enforced by the local authorities to compel landowners and developers to construct proper drains,” he said.

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