Negri MB, govt sued over damage caused during November 2020 flood

Lawyer Ng Kian Nam (second from left) accompanied by some of the affected residents, speaking to reporters outside the Seremban court complex.

SEREMBAN: Three individuals have filed a suit against the Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar and state government for alleged negligence for losses suffered during a flood that occurred in November 2020.

The writ of summons and statement of claim were filed at the High Court here Friday (July 1) through their lawyer Ng Kian Nam.

In their suit, the three also named the Seremban City Council, the state Irrigation and Drainage Department director and Syarikat Air Negri Sembilan as respondents.

Ng, who is also MCA civil society movement bureau head, said the three plaintiffs, Zahari Ariffin, 59; Tung King Hong, 66 and S. Kalesvaran, 44, also represent 97 other residents and business owners from Taman Mok Sum, Taman Happy, Taman Sungai Ujong, Kg Semarak, Taman Rasah Utama, Jalan Rasah and Kg Bt 3 Mantau in Mambau.

"The residents claim the floods which happened on Nov 4, 2020 was unusual and not an act of god as claimed by authorities because it only rained for 30 minutes but water levels in some areas rose between five and eight feet.

"That flood was the worst in the area over the past 20 years and caused damage to several hundred households," he said.

Ng, who is representing the residents on a pro bono basis, said they were forced to take this action as state authorities failed to respond to their letter of demand filed on Jan 29, 2021.

They are seeking RM3.1mil in special damages, RM1mil in general damages and exemplary and aggravated damages deemed fit by the court.

The residents also want the authorities to immediately take measures to upgrade the drainage system along Sg Linggi and in Rasah as well as the floodgates at the Sg Linggi water treatment plant and Sg Terip dam.

"The residents want authorities to also reveal the findings of their internal investigation into the cause of the massive floods.

"The residents had complained to authorities to upgrade and maintain the drains and waterways in their respective areas but appropriate action was not taken," he claimed, adding that the respondents also had a duty of care towards residents.

The state government gave RM500 aid to affected families in the aftermath of the floods. Based on estimates, some 1,000 households were affected.

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