No proof Pan Borneo Highway project worsening flash floods in Sabah, state assembly hears

KOTA KINABALU: There is no concrete proof that the construction of the Pan Borneo Highway is worsening the flash floods in Sabah, the state assembly was told.

State Assistant Public Works Minister Datuk Limus Jury said that apart from incomplete proof of the allegations, the effect of flash floods from the construction of this project is not at a serious level.

He said the design and engineering for the road has been done to minimise this sort of impact on the public, whereas scheduled checks and monitoring of the project were being done to prevent such incidents.

“The government is always checking to see if there is a need to redesign the drainage system based on current requirements and feedback from the public,” he added.

Limus said in preparation for the north-east monsoon season, the ministry has started working with the relevant agencies and departments to collect data to find out sources of flash floods.

“The factors contributing to flash floods include improper development plannings that do not take into account the existing drainage system and rubbish,” he said.

He was responding to questions on flash floods in Penampang and other areas, which many have claimed were made worse ever since the Pan Borneo projects started.

Kapayan assemblyman Jannie Lasimbang said in her supplementary question that she was shocked and in disbelief to note that the Pan Borneo project was not the major reason for flash floods in Penampang and other areas in Sabah.

She asked for a full and detailed report to support this theory, to which Limus said the documents and details were being compiled and would be shared once they are complete.

He said the improvement and redesign of the drainage system and the Pan Borneo highway would be done if there was a need to.

Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, when presenting his winding up speech, mentioned that some of the reasons for floods in Penampang was because the people have not been fair to nature.

He also said there could be lack of environmental awareness and this issue does not only involve one agency or one party to blame.

He said there was also a possibility that the illegal private house and premise extensions were done without proper planning and approval from local authorities.

Masidi said everyone must look into this as a whole, and determine whether their actions such as these also contribute to the worsening flash flood issues in the state.

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