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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
Dr. Chandra Muzaffar
7 September 1999