Malaysiakini Letter

RM564m for Pekan flood project, but what about Penang?

Kasthuri Patto  |  Published:  |  Modified:

LETTER | Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak should ensure that the RM1billion announced and approved for 13 flood mitigation projects in all of Penang’s five districts won’t remain as lip service, but allocated immediately to benefit more than 1.7 million Penangites.

Yesterday, the prime minister in the groundbreaking ceremony of Phase 2 of the Bandar Pekan Flood Mitigation Project (RTB), which is in his own parliamentary constituency, announced that the government has set aside RM564million which will benefit more than 83,000 people in Pahang.

He also mentioned that this announcement will quash any speculation that the government is giving “dedak” (animal feed) feed before the elections.

This begs the question, if the prime minister, who is also the finance minister and Pekan MP can make such an announcement, when will the 13 flood mitigation projects in Penang take off?

To be clear, it is a step in the right direction to improve drainage and mitigate flood with impending climate change.

But Penangites are waiting with bated breath as to when the RM1 billion announcement from the federal government will be channelled to the state, as to date, nothing has been allocated yet.

The Penang Drainage and Irrigation Department had applied for 13 flood mitigation projects costing RM1 billion, which has been approved, but works cannot start as the funds have not been released.

Perhaps the prime minister needs to be reminded that as leader of the whole country, which includes opposition states like Penang – which undeniably contributes to the nation’s economy – he must immediately release the promised and approved amount of RM1 billion to the department so that flood mitigation works can begin promptly.

The breakdown of the cost of these projects are as follows:-

  • RTB Seberang Prai Utara (North Seberang Perai): RM65 million
  • RTB Lembangan Sungai Prai (Central Seberang Perai): RM120 million
  • RTB Sungai Junjung (Central Seberang Perai): RM60 million
  • RTB Parit 4 (Central Seberang Perai): RM10 million
  • RTB Lembangan Sungai Juru (Central Seberang Perai): RM40 million
  • RTB Kawasan Perindustrian Prai (Central Seberang Perai): RM50 million
  • RTB Sungai Kechil (South Seberang Perai): RM12 million
  • RTB Lembangan Sungai Jawi (Seberang Perai Selatan): RM40 million
  • RTB Lembangan Sungai Pinang (Southwest Penang Island District): RM504 million
  • RTB Teluk Kumbar (Northeast Penang Island District): RM 16 million
  • RTB Pondok Upeh / Sungai Burung (Northeast Penang Island District): RM10 million
  • RTB Bayan Lepas (Northeast Penang Island District): RM65 million
  • RTB Teluk Bahang (Northeast Penang Island District): RM8 million

Prime minister, please ensure that the RM1 billion announced and approved for 13 flood mitigation projects in all five districts in Penang wont remain as lip service, but allocated immediately.

I wish to urge the prime minister to be a leader who walks the talk by displaying leadership, accountability and integrity through example, by urgently releasing the promised funds for these projects.

KASTHURI PATTO is MP for Batu Kawan and publicity secretary for Wanita DAP.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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