Unfair to blame Dr Sim for Kuching’s flash flood problem, Batu Kitang rep tells Sarawak DAP chief

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

PADAWAN, March 3 — Batu Kitang state assemblyman Datuk Lo Khere Chiang today said it is unfair for Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen to put the blame squarely on Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian for the frequent occurrences of flash floods in Kuching City after a heavy downpour.

He said Chong, being an MP, should raise the matter to Putrajaya rather than towards the state minister of public health, housing and local government.

"The flooding issue is under the Concurrent List of the Federal Constitution and, therefore, the federal government has to shoulder 50 per cent or more of the responsibility to solve the flash flood issue,” Lo, who is also the former Padawan Municipal Council (PMC) chairman, told reporters after handing over food baskets to the single parents and B40 group here.

He cited the Kampung Quap area at 11km Kuching-Serian Highway, as an example of a place that is frequently affected by the flash flood problem — which is taking about RM400 million to solve.

To solve this, he said the federal government had to come up with a master plan, detailed planning, and design to solve the Kampung Quap flood problem, in addition to approval from the federal Drainage and Irrigation Department.

"So whose responsibility is it to bring the issue to the federal government? It is Chong, by being the MP for Stampin and Sarawak DAP chairman?” Lo asked.

"He spent only 20 seconds of his speech when he mentioned flash floods in Parliament, and he expects 20 seconds to be able to solve the flash floods issue?”

He said a huge sum of money is required to solve the problem, which also occurs in other areas of Kuching City, such as Batu Kawa, Batu Lintang, BDC area, Arang Road and Kota Sentosa bazaar.

Chong, in a statement yesterday, had called on Dr Sim to be accountable for the increasing frequencies and severity of flash floods in Kuching.

He had said both PMC and Kuching South City Council, which are responsible for building plans and drainage systems in the city, and the state Department of Irrigation and Drainage come under Dr Sim’s ministry of public health, housing and local government.

He claimed that the flash flood problems in Kuching are getting from bad to worse, alleging that it reflects on the poor planning and execution on the part of the minister and his Ministry.