Flood victims file suit against Negri MB, state govt


Seeking justice: Ng, accompanied by some of the affected residents, speaking to reporters outside the Seremban Court complex.

SEREMBAN: Three individuals, who are also representing 97 others from several areas near here, have filed a suit against the Mentri Besar and Negri Sembilan government for alleged negligence that caused losses during a flood in November 2020.

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

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

Ng, who is also MCA Civil Society Movement bureau head, said three individuals, Zahari Ariffin, 59, Tung King Hong, 66, and S. Kalesvaran, 44, who are the plaintiffs, would 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, were unusual and not an act of God as claimed by the authorities because it had only rained for 30 minutes but water levels in some areas rose between five and eight feet.

“That flood was the worst to have happened in the area in the last 20 years and caused untold damage to several hundred households,” he said.

Ng, who is representing the residents on a pro bono basis, said his clients had been forced to take this action as the 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 Sungai Linggi and Rasah as well as the floodgates at the Sungai Linggi water treatment plant and Sungai Terip dam.

“The residents want the authorities to also reveal the findings of their internal investigation into what caused the massive floods.

“The residents had, many times prior to the floods, complained to the authorities on the need 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 the residents.

The state government had given cash aid worth RM500 to each affected family in the aftermath of the floods. Based on estimates, some 1,000 households were affected.

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