N. TRISHA and R. SEKARAN at the Penang State Assembly
Photos by ASRI ABDUL GHANI and GARY CHEN
THE delay in the releasing of funds by the Federal Government has hampered efforts by the state government to tackle flooding woes.
State exco member Chow Kon Yeow said the state only received RM305mil or 21.7% of the original RM1.4bil which was allocated for the purpose under the Ninth, 10th and 11th Malaysia Plans.
“River restoration projects in Sungai Pinang, Sungai Juru and many other river basins are only at design stages pending funding due to the nominal allocations from the Federal Government,” he said during his winding-up speech at the Penang State Assembly yesterday.
Chow, who is Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman, said the Federal Government had not released the RM150mil allocation for the flood mitigation project in Sungai Pinang which was agreed upon earlier this year.
“We have so far received only RM1mil. The rest of the allocation will be given in stages until the project is ready by 2020,” he said.
Opposition Leader Datuk Jahara Hamid (BN-Telok Ayer Tawar) then asked Chow to pass the information on the funding woes to her so that she could look into it.
Chow then asked Jahara for a list of Federal projects promised to Penang to countercheck with his information.
Muhammad Farid Saad (BN-Pulau Betong) then suggested that the state government use its own funds to undertake the flood mitigation projects.
“The state government can use the Developers’ Drainage Contribu-tion funds to undertake flood mitigation projects based on priorities,” he said.
Chow said RM176mil from the drainage contribution had been used for flood mitigation and drainage improvement projects.
“An additional RM150mil has been allocated under the state’s 2017 Budget. We have already spent RM54mil for the purpose,” he said.