GEORGE TOWN: Over-exploitation of hill slopes and ‘excessively pro-business policies’ are the main reasons for the floods that have been plaguing the state, said Penang MCA deputy chief Tan Teik Cheng.
He singled out approved development projects around Paya Terubong, Ayer Itam and Sungai Pinang that were putting a strain on the state’s drainage system.
“This time, in addition to floods, landslides also occurred near Air Itam. The culprit is obviously hillside development.”
He said in a statement yesterday that despite a reported RM94,378,364 spent on flood mitigation in the state, the flooding appeared to have become more serious.
“The Penang government spent so much money on flood mitigation even in Teluk Bahang, Bayan Baru, Penang International Airport, Butterworth and Bukit Mertajam but why haven’t we seen the effectiveness of these projects?” he asked.
At a press conference, state Local Government Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow denied that the flooding of Sungai Dondang and Sungai Air Itam was due to over development.
He asked people to name any hillside project in these areas.
“In the Sungai Dondang and Sungai Air Itam catchment upstream, there are no development projects.
“Even if there are, they are not at hillsides,” he said yesterday in Komtar.