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Gerakan calls for immediate remedy on flood situation in Penang Kohilan: Poor governance and inaction by DAP-led state government has turned Penang into a flood-prone city

Press statement by


Gerakan Vice President cum


Coordinator of Batu Kawan Parliamentary Seat


Datuk A. Kohilan Pillay


April 3, 2017



Gerakan Vice President, Datuk A. Kohilan Pillay said that the recurring flash floods in Penang, the latest one just 48 hours ago was a proof that the poor planning and unsustainable development by the Penang state government are now harming the interest of Penangnites as it brought damages and difficulties to the Penang community.


Kohilan said the DAP-led Penang state government has a pressing job to rein the uncontrolled developments that were clearly the main cause of flooding following heavy rains in recent days. He said the apparent poor governance and inaction by the state authorities have stripped the island of its natural beauty, turning it into a massive concrete jungle and worst of all in making Penang a flood-prone city.


“I wish to point out that the numerous complaints showed that certain developments involving apartment towers were constructed too close to existing residential areas which is in violation of the Uniform Building By-Law 1984 which drew the guidelines on how developments should take place. Also, experts pointed out that contractors did not adopt the environment-friendly urban drainage model called urban water storm management (MBSA).


“Furthermore, the local council itself was not doing their jobs as being stated under Section 54 of the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974 that it shall cause the surface and storm water drains, gutters, culverts and water courses under its control to be constructed, maintained and kept as not to be a nuisance or injurious to health. All these flood waters came from clogged drains which carried micro-organisms that are hazardous to the human health.”


Kohilan reminded that back in 2012, a report by the Department of Environment’s Environment graded the four rivers in Penang, Sungai Pinang, Sungai Jelutong, Sungai Prai and Sungai Juru as Class 3 and Class 4 respectively which means water that was not clean for human consumption and required treatment and water which was only suitable for agricultural use. The pollution of Sungai Mas saw it turning into black and emitting a foul stench as well.


He added that since 2008 to 2015, there was a total of 56 approved projects for hillslope development as well as 68 illegal clearings within the same period which were excessive to the natural beauty of Penang as it has also caused constant flash floods in recent years.


“I urge the Penang state government to seriously look into the causes of flooding, they should own up mistakes and take remedial actions immediately and responsibly, stop blaming others or indulging in non-essential campaigns just to prove the political popularity of DAP. Penangnites demand real and practical responses from the DAP-led state government to prevent floods and improve the livelihoods of the people," said Kohilan.