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:-
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.
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