State hopes to learn from China

(From left) Dr Norlela Ariffin (PKR–Penanti), Law Heng Kiang (DAP–Batu Lanchang) and Chow having a light moment between sessions.

  • At the Penang State Assembly 

THE state government is looking at having an alternative early warning system on storms from China.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng believes China, which faced a lot of calamities such as tsunami, tornadoes and hurricanes, has the expertise and technology in weather forecast.

“We can share the system and information with the Malaysian Meteorological Department then.

“It can be an alternative as the early warning systems of the department were not effective.

“The red alert warning on Nov 4 was issued at 9.30pm when the downpour was already lashing the state and flood waters were rising, which is totally unacceptable.

“With such a system, we can also be better prepared in facing storms. I do not have to ask help from various sources at 3.30am,” he told a press conference at the Penang Development Corporation yesterday.

At the state assembly on Tuesday, state Local Government Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow (DAP–Padang Kota) said the Flood Early Warning System would be fully operational next year.

Introduced by the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, the system would give predictions as early as seven days before a flood and send out a warning two days in advance compared with six hours now.

The system will rely on gathering data from river monitoring stations.

Chow said the system would be in place in Penang from June next year till 2020, involving six river stations — Sungai Pinang, Sungai Kerian, Sungai Muda, Sungai Juru, Sungai Perai and Sungai Jawi.

He was responding to state Opposition Leader Datuk Jahara Hamid, who questioned the efficiency of the information delivery system on floods.

Chow said they already had an online disseminating system for floods known as Public Info Banjir (Public Information on Floods) and Penang Alert.

“We have been proposing more flood mitigation projects but some of these projects are massive which require aid from the Federal Government,” he said in his winding-up speech on Tuesday.

On the death of fish affected by leachate from the Sungai Burung landfill, Chow said the Department of Environment and Fisheries Department had announced there was no conclusive evidence on the cause of death.

“We will install High-Density Polyethylene Geo Membrane at each disposal cell and leachate ponds to prevent residue flowing into nearby water sources.

“Besides this, a Leachate Treatment Plant will be built to produce clean water according to the standards and regulations set by Department of Environment,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lim lashed out at Jahara for implying that Sept 15 flood victims would have to become members of Pakatan Harapan to be eligible for the RM400 one-off payment.

Lim (DAP–Ayer Putih) claimed there was a newspaper report recently quoting Jahara (BN – Telok Air Tawar) on this matter.

“This is a serious allegation. The state government had never imposed such a requirement,” he said in his winding-up speech.

Jahara then said the newspaper used the word ‘difahamkan’ (made to understand) and the statement was not factual.

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