LAST_UPDATEThu, 21 Jun 2018 10pm

Flood Disaster In Penang Nothing To Do With Development Projects - CM

GEORGE TOWN, Nov 10 -- The floods that hit Penang over the weekend is a natural disaster and have nothing to do with development projects in the state, said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

"This is a natural disaster. We of course welcome views of those who have concerns about this issue. We are willing to listen. Let us focus on this natural disaster here," he told a press conference here today.

He said this in response to calls by several NGOs to the DAP-led Penang government to stop risky development on hillslopes to prevent a recurrence of the disaster,

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when visiting a flood relief centre in Penang on Tuesday reminded the Penang government to exercise caution in approving development projects to avoid natural disasters.

Najib also advised the Penang government to heed calls by the NGOs if it was beneficial to all parties.
Asked to comment on the prime minister’s take, Lim said : "He is just making a remark".

Lim said what was important now was relief efforts to get the state back on its feet following its worst ever flood disaster.

He said the state government was badly in need of federal government support and was still waiting for good news from the prime minister on allocations for flood mitigation in the state.

On a related matter, he urged volunteers who will be assisting in the “big post-flood clean up” programme this Sunday to gather at 8am at Balai Rakyat Jalan Patani here and as for Seberang Perai at Depoh Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai, Jalan Padang Lalang in Bukit Mertajam at 7am.

Earlier, Lim had launched the Pulau Pinang Bangkit website, and hotline to channel information on the floods and post-flood cleaning work.

Almost the entire state was affected by severe flooding after a 15-hour storm havoc last Saturday. The disaster claimed seven lives.

Meanwhile. Penang Front Party (PFP) president Datuk Patrick Ooi, speaking to reporters outside the Penang State Assembly building, demanded that the chief minister apologise without delay to the families who lost loved ones due to disasters in the state.

"Twenty-three people have died from July to date due to disasters. He (Lim) must tender an apology. Don’t tell me he wants to wait for 100 people to die and only then want to apologise,” he said.

He cited the 11 construction workers who were killed in a massive landslide in Tanjung Bungah on Oct 21 and the latest deaths due to landslides and this flood disaster.
He added that the best thing Lim could do was to resign and let others lead the state.

At the State Assembly lobby, state opposition leader Datuk Jahara Hamid, speaking to reporters, accused the state government of being arrogant as it failed to heed advice from the authorities there were beneficial to the state.

The Tanjung Bungah tragedy and indiscriminate approval of licences for family entertainment outlets, snooker parlours, karaoke lounges and massage parlours against police’s advice were examples of the arrogance, she said.