MP criticises FT minister’s silence over KL’s flood woes

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Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng has criticised Federal Territory minister Shahidan Kassim’s silence on Kuala Lumpur’s flash flood issue.

Lim’s remarks came after he was invited on June 5, alongside other critics, to visit erected sandbag barriers at the city’s 23 high-risk flash flood sites.

The lawmaker had accepted the invitation but reported that he had not heard from the minister since then.

“Why (the) delay in meeting with the elected reps of Kuala Lumpur? Are you not serious about solving this issue?

Alena Nadia/Malaysiakini

“He told me he will organise a meeting with all the MPs on either Thursday or Friday to discuss practical issues,” Lim asked at a press conference in Jalan Kepong Baru today.

Despite this, the Kepong MP claimed to have made an uninvited visit to one of the 23 sites that were at high risk of flash floods.

According to Lim, the initiative took off last Monday and will last until August.

Lim also questioned the government’s previous attempts at solving the issue, referencing a 2014 flood warning balloon initiative that has been discontinued.

“Back in 2014, eight years ago, DBKL came up with their first balloon in Kampung Kasipillay in my old constituency of Jalan Ipoh.

“They built it. If it was a success, they would build more. Unfortunately, it failed, and that cost taxpayers RM120,000 per balloon,” he said.

Lim said that the government’s plans to construct a new underground storage tunnel only proved the Smart Tunnel’s failure to achieve its intended outcome.

“If they want to build a new flood management tunnel, what happened to the Smart Tunnel, which was promised to solve Kuala Lumpur’s flood issues 15 years ago?” he questioned.

Due to the lack of finer details and discussion on its plans for a new tunnel, Lim claimed that he suspected the government was unsure of where to build the tunnels – which he claimed was yet another “knee-jerk” reaction.

Shahidan had previously assured that the government’s efforts to tackle flash flooding in Kuala Lumpur were not just empty promises but consisted of plans for the short, medium, and long term.

Bernama

For the near term, he said, the government will be pumping water, monitoring affected areas, and building sandbag barriers at places where rivers overflow.

Kuala Lumpur has been facing flash floods more regularly since last December.

Although Lim’s constituency has fared much better than others in the Klang Valley, such as Bukit Bintang and Segambut, he stressed that the last flash flood which occurred had resulted in a significant number of casualties and damaged properties and machinery nationwide.

Previously, Lim had criticised Shahidan and the government, saying promised solutions to flash flooding had a tendency of not being implemented as they were perpetually under study.

This was in response to Shahidan saying on Thursday that DBKL will carry out a feasibility study on the location and specifications for a high-capacity groundwater storage tunnel, which will be completed in three months.

Besides the groundwater storage tunnel, Shahidan said that the government would be building retention ponds for the medium term. – Malaysiakini