Opposition MPs bid to trigger police probe into DBKL’s nod for development at six retention ponds

·3-min read
Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh speaks during the launch of the C4 Centre Report in Petaling Jaya April 12, 2021. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh speaks during the launch of the C4 Centre Report in Petaling Jaya April 12, 2021. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 1 — Three federal lawmakers have alleged possible abuse at the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) in the approval for housing development at the sites of six retention ponds vital for flood mitigation in the city.

Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil, Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai and Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh lodged a report at the Sentul district police headquarters today to seek an investigation to identify those responsible for the decisions to convert the retention ponds.

Citing the Auditor-General’s Report 2019 Series 2, Fahmi said the approval went against the technical advice of the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (JPS) to maintain the water retention zones needed to protect the city and Klang Valley from floods.

“Unfortunately, we can see that from 2015 until 2020 (when the Federal Territories Ministry) was between Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor and Tan Sri Annuar Musa, the sale of the land took place.

“And our hope is not just the matter be taken into investigation, but if there were any discrepancies involved, those people should be brought to justice,” Fahmi, who is also PKR communication director, said during a press conference in front of the police headquarters.

Tengku Adnan was the FT minister from 2013 until 2018 when Barisan Nasional lost to PH in the 14th general election.

Annuar assumed the role in March 2020 after the PH government collapsed. He has since been succeeded by Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.

Tan questioned why the land was not gazetted as this would have prevented the critical flood mitigation infrastructure from being alienated for other purposes.

“Due to climate change and extreme weather conditions, the recent [floods] could happen again soon, and possibly every three to five years,” Tan said when stressing the importance of maintaining the retention ponds.

He said the devastation of the recent floods has shown how much damage these could cause to both the lives and livelihoods of Malaysians in vulnerable areas.

Last Tuesday, Yeoh gave the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) a 24-hour ultimatum to investigate the same matter.

Citing from the A-G’s report, Yeoh pointed out conclusive findings 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.

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 few weeks.

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.

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