KOTA KINABALU: The state government says the ongoing construction of the Pan Borneo Highway and the lack of public cleanliness are the reasons behind the worsening flash floods in many parts of Sabah.
The state has been hit by a deluge three times just this month alone.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin (pic) said while he would not discount that the Pan Borneo project could be among the reasons for the flash floods, there were many other factors contributing to the frequency.
“Another thing about Sabahans is that the awareness level of cleanliness is low. Where there is a hole, it becomes a dump site.
“All of our drains are full of trash,” he said during the question and answer session at the state assembly yesterday.
Bung Moktar, who is also the state Works Ministers, said another factor was that the increase in development might not have taken into account proper planning for utilities such as drainage and irrigation systems.
“That’s why we will meet on Friday to discuss all these issues and hopefully, come up with a holistic measure to reduce the severity and frequency of flash floods in Sabah,” he said.
Asked if changes could still be made on road work design and other development projects seen as contributing factors, Bung Moktar said: “Yes”.
Earlier, he said the work of concessionaires and contractors in charge of cleaning drainage and irrigation had been satisfactory.
He said if there had been delay or non- compliance with their job scope, notice or warning letters would have been issued but so far this year, there was none.
Sabah has seen three major flash floods in September alone.
To another question, state assistant finance minister Datuk Nizam Abu Bakar Titingan said the implementation of the sales tax on fisheries commodities had been postponed to Dec 31 in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.