‘Residents can sue authorities for flood damages’

SEREMBAN: Residents and property owners who incur huge losses due to floods have the right to sue the authorities for alleged negligence, says state MCA chief Siow Koi Voon (pic).

He quoted Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun as saying a move by three residents here to sue the state government for alleged negligence that resulted in massive floods in November 2020 was politically motivated and was uncalled for.

“The affected residents actually sent a letter of demand to the state government and other parties in late January last year seeking compensation for damage caused to their properties during the flash floods in November.

“However none of them felt it was important to respond and the victims were left with no other option but to file a suit in court,” he said.

Siow said if the parties had responded to the letter of demand and explained with evidence what caused the massive floods, the situation could have been different.

“If they had carried out an investigation, a report should have been given to the aggrieved parties to what caused the floods. But they didn’t bother to do so,” he said.

On July 1, Zahari Ariffin, 59, Tung King Hong, 66, and S. Kalesvaran, 44, filed a writ of summons at the High Court against the state government for alleged negligence for losses suffered during the floods.

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

Rasah MCA secretary and lawyer Ng Kian Nam is helping the claimants on a pro bono basis.

The plaintiffs claimed the flood 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 1.5m and 2.4m (5ft and 8ft).

The flood, they claimed, was the worst in the area in the past 20 years and caused damage to several hundred households.

The three are also representing 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.

On July 6, Aminuddin said the matter was being politicised and that he knew who was behind it.

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