After massive floods, lawmaker points MACC at DBKL approval for development at six retention ponds

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Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh says the MACC must begin investigating development orders approved by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall involving six flood retention ponds for possible abuse within 24 hours. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh says the MACC must begin investigating development orders approved by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall involving six flood retention ponds for possible abuse within 24 hours. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 28 ― The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commision (MACC) must begin investigating development orders approved by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall involving six flood retention ponds for possible abuse within 24 hours, Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh said today.

Citing the Auditor-General's Report 2019 Series 2, Yeoh said what is most damning was the discovery that the retention ponds ― crucial to the Klang Valley’s flood mitigation system ― had been approved and alienated for development.

She asserted that one of the ponds has a cumulative water retention area of only 30 per cent at present, which posed a risk of rivers in the city overflowing their banks in the event of torrential rain similar to that which caused recent floods in the Klang Valley.

“It was also stated that the change in zoning of land use and density had an impact on the environment causing reduction of open space, flash floods in Kuala Lumpur and traffic congestion.

“Possibly the most damning revelation in this report would be the discovery that six retention ponds used for flood prevention had been approved and alienated for development.

“The permission to develop six retention ponds have completely crippled our flood mitigation system in KL and clearly revealed that in the same period from 2015 to 2020, Kuala Lumpur experienced flash floods 48 times.

“This is not fake news, not your viral WhatsApp messages or Facebook posts. This is the Auditor-General’s report published, which clearly states that the six retention ponds were given approvals to be developed,” she told a press conference here together with Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng.

Kolam Air and Kampung Kasipillay in Segambut were amongst the worst hit areas when Sungai Batu broke its banks during the worst floods to have swept Peninsular Malaysia over the past week.

Citing further from the A-G’s report, Yeoh said the KL Mayor had approved 943 development projects, which was inconsistent with KL City Plan 2020 between 2015 and 2020.

“I want the MACC to act on this (AG’s report) public document and as for members of the public wishing to take legal action, they may access this document as well.

“All details have been clearly stated in the AG’s report including the chronology and failure of the approving committee.

“This is criminal. What are you waiting for 24 hours please respond. This is no longer fantasy but factual as produced in the AG’s report,” she said.

She also urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to scrutinise the report as well, raising concerns that lives may be lost if a second flooding similar to the one that struck last week were to happen.

Separately, Yeoh also called on Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim to provide clear and immediate answers to residents who were displaced by a recent landslide incident at Jalan Pelimbayan Indah, Kampung Sungai Penchala.

On Monday, a landslide occurred at Jalan Pelimbayan Indah in Kampung Sungai Penchala involving 94 houses and a total of 284 residents.

“Many residents who were not affected by the landslide have begun asking when they can move back into their homes but have yet to receive any reply.

“I have written to the minister on December 23 accompanied with three proposals that should be looked into for the wellbeing of displaced residents such as financial assistance and temporary housing, but similarly have not gotten any replies,” she said.

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