Deputy Prime Minister addresses concerns over National Flood Forecast Programme


Photo: Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 43 out of the affected 118 Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) stations under the National Flood Forecast and Warning Programme have been replaced, says Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.

In a parliamentary written reply, the Deputy Prime Minister, who is also the Energy Transition and Public Utilities Ministry (Petra), said that the nationwide shutdown of the 3G network had affected 118 hydrological stations under the programme.

"This RTU replacement ensures that all stations' hydrological data are consistently sent to the Public Sector Data Center server according to schedule.

"The RTU replacement process for the remaining 75 stations is being carried out in phases by the Irrigation and Drainage Department and is expected to be fully completed by November 2024," said Fadillah.

He was responding to a question from Sim Tze Tzin (PH-Bayan Baru), who wanted to know the status and the measures taken to address the issue involving the RTU upgrade under the national programme.

Sim also wanted to know whether the multi-million ringgit project was effective and benefited the people and why the fund was not being used for flood mitigation projects instead.

In March, despite its cost of RM129mil, the programme's first phase could have been more effective in alerting the public about impending floods, says the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

"The flood forecasting accuracy rate at 5.6% does not meet the target as intended by the programme," said PAC chairman Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin.

This was among the seven conclusions made by PAC following the 2022 Auditor General's report that highlighted several shortcomings in the programme.

Fadillah said the programme is a non-structural preventive approach to flood management in the country.

He highlighted several main objectives of the project's implementation, including developing a system capable of predicting monsoon flood events seven days in advance based on weather forecast data from the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia).

He added that it also aims to enhance the monsoon flood warning and dissemination system from six hours to as early as two days to the relevant agencies and affected locals.

The project also aims to improve the accuracy of monsoon flood warnings by reducing the difference between forecast and actual flood levels from more than one meter to less than 0.5m.

"The outcome of this program differs from flood mitigation projects through a structural (curative) approach.

"With the combination of project implementation through a structural (curative) approach and the implementation of preventive programs, public property loss can be reduced by 30% in addition to reducing the risk of loss of life.

"The National Flood Forecast and Warning Programme also has increased stakeholder confidence in the government's flood warning and dissemination system by up to 70%," he noted.

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