Floods: Govt must take strong measures to address issue, say MPs

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 02 Mar 2023

KUALA LUMPUR: MPs from both sides of the divide were united in giving suggestions to address the recurring flood problems facing the country, as well as asking about what measures the government will take regarding the issue.

During the fourth day of the debate session on the Supply Bill 2023 at the policy level in the Dewan Rakyat Thursday (March 2), among other things, the MPs touched on the issue of allocations, and the type of aid which should be channelled to assist flood victims.

ALSO READ: Floods: Situation in Segamat worsens, number of victims tops 10,000 mark

Dr Ahmad Fakhruddin Fakhrurazi (PN-Kuala Kedah) asked to what extent was the government's commitment towards the Flood Mitigation Plan (RTB) under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) to reduce the effects of flood disasters, especially in the Kuala Kedah area.

He also expressed concern that if a flood mitigation project is not implemented in the said area, which is synonymous with paddy cultivation, it will then have an impact on the country's food security and rice production.

"Therefore, there must be an effective contingency plan should there be a high tide phenomenon, which causes water to overflow into paddy fields," he said.

ALSO READ: Floods: Two more fatalities recorded in Johor, death toll now at three

"Besides this, what measures will the government take to reduce the risk of overflow due to the high tide phenomenon which often hits Kuala Kedah, and the implications of the damage on the people who suffer every year as a result of such disasters?

"This issue needs to be dealt with immediately,” he said.

Meanwhile, Wong Shu Qi (PH-Kluang) said that the government needs to implement drastic measures to protect lives and people's property, as well as to give sufficient allocations, especially to the Kluang Irrigation and Drainage Department (DID) to implement projects to reduce the risk of flooding.

ALSO READ: Floods: Anwar wants sufficient allocations channelled to victims

"Yesterday, some friends asked me why Kluang was also hit by floods, as Kluang is located in an upstream area.

"That is what I do not understand...why does Kluang get flooded first every time it rains heavily?

"We may not be able to widen the river because of urban development taking place next to the riverbanks, and houses also being built (in the village) fronting the river. Therefore, can we deepen the existing river so that the upstream capacity is increased?

"However, every time I talk to the district DID officer, the problem that arises is that there is insufficient funding,” she said.

ALSO READ: Floods: Helicopters, rescue boats deployed to Johor, Pahang, says Fire and Rescue Department

Datuk Mohd Isam Mohd Isa (BN-Tampin) also raised the same issue, and asked about the total allocation and the type of assistance being prepared by the government, to lessen the burden of flood victims this time around.

"It is my great hope that the government will be able to provide assistance similar to last year which covers all aspects, such as Bantuan Wang Ihsan, donations for the purchase of essential goods, home improvement assistance and various discounts or rebates,” he said.

Hassan Abdul Karim (PH-Pasir Gudang) also proposed that the government give fair allocation distribution to MPs, irrespective of their political parties, to facilitate efforts to help the people, especially when such disasters occur.

ALSO READ: Floods: Govt has disbursed RM10mil for flood victims in Johor, says Zahid

Earlier, it was reported that the total number of flood victims rose to 29,091, housed in temporary relief centres in Johor, Pahang, Negri Sembilan, Melaka and Sabah.

A total of 86 MPs participated in the debate session, which began on Monday, after the tabling of Budget 2023 by Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, on Feb 24.

According to Parliament's official website, the debate sessions will last until March 7 and continue with winding-up sessions by each ministry.

The Dewan Rakyat sitting resumes Monday (March 6). - Bernama

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