Floods due to unprecedented phenomenon, says minister

by AZREEN HANI/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

The floods that occurred in December 2021 were due to the unprecedented natural phenomenon, says Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.

He told Dewan Rakyat this morning that this phenomenon is also caused by the following factors including: development in flood catchment areas and river reserves which causes a reduction in water reservoir capacity.

It is also due to obstructed river water flow due to debris which contains rubbish, waste, sediment and waste materials.

“The original alignment of the river has been straightened and concreted causing the river to flow faster in the downstream area as well as pumps and sluices that cannot operate properly as a result of garbage piles and power outages which had to be cut by TNB due to public safety,” he said.

This has affected the function of existing pumps during the flood, he added.

Several states in Malaysia- Selangor, Pahang, Melaka, Johor, Perak, Negri Sembilan and Kelantan were affected in the “worst flood in decades” last month, which claimed 54 lives.

Various quarters have blamed the excessive logging as the reason for the extraordinary flooding as well as the impact of climate change.

Meanwhile, according to Tuan Ibrahim, the government has outlined 11 short term measures to mitigate flooding, which include ensuring the readiness of flood mitigation infrastructure (pumps, sluices and gensets) in collaboration with the State Government so that it will be functional at an optimal level.

This is expected to cost RM185 mil by 2023, he said.

Additionally, the minister added that the government will maintain, deepen and clean main drainage, rivers as well as flood reservoir ponds to improve flow capacity with an estimate of cost requirements of RM200 mil by 2023 too.