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Lessons from the Storm 
While Tropical Storm Wendy wreaked havoc on Penang and Kedah on 
Sunday, 5 September 1999, it would be wrong to ignore some of the 
other factors responsible for the extensive damage caused to land and 
property in the two states. 
Mammoth projects in Penang in particular which have resulted in whole 
hills being cut are partly responsible for the widespread landslides 
and flash floods that accompanied the storm on Sunday. The failure to 
assess the impact upon the environment of major development projects 
is a perennial cause of the devastation that we witness each time 
there is a heavy downpour in Penang. Developers and planning;
authorities have also not given sufficient attention to the problem of
drainage when new projects are implemented. 
As an immediate solution to the problem of flash floods and 
landslides, the Federal and Penang and Kedah state governments should 
implement flood mitigation projects. The Federal and Penang state 
governments have been talking about flood mitigation projects for 
years and yet very little has been done to meet the challenge. Now the
Deputy Prime Minister, Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, is talking of
reviving a 40 million ringgit flood mitigation project for Penang. 
Instead of wasting money on mega projects which run into billions, 
both the Federal and Penang state governments should have given 
priority to flood mitigation projects, decades ago. 
Parti keADILan Nasional hopes that the promise to revive the 40 
million ringgit flood mitigation project in Penang is not just empty 
election talk. 
Dr. Chandra Muzaffar 
Deputy President 
7 September 1999 
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