Press Statement by Chief Minister of Penang Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 8.11.17:
Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak, during his visit to Penang yesterday, did not announce any new allocation for flood mitigation projects in Penang but that he will seriously consider the RM1 billion of flood mitgation projects still not released under the previous 5 year Malaysia Development Plans. The RM150 million mentioned by the Prime Minister was a previously approved announcement made last year on November 8 2016 by Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
The Penang state government thanks the Prime Minister for his visit and his willingness to seriously consider disbursing RM1 billion already approved under the previous Malaysia 5-year plans. The Penang State Government’s focus at the moment is to continue with the relief and rescue work to ensure that the situation can normalize quickly so that residents can return to their homes to clean up and repair their damaged properties.
Penang is unfortunate indeed to be hit by a triple whammy of the spillover effects from not just the Damrey Typhoon that hit Vietnam on the 4th of November; unexpected fierce 40 miles per hour winds never seen before in Malaysia until the Penang ferry could be lifted up and pushed up on the concrete jetty; as well as the heavy rain and floods in Kedah. The heavy rains and floods in Kedah have caused record volume of water to gush down our rivers, overflowing the river banks, here on the way to the sea. This has the unfortunate effect of flooding parts of Seberang Perai Utara and Seberang Perai Tengah Districts near the river banks up to 3 feet, even though there is not a single drop of rain.
The situation has normalized in Penang with flood centers closed and evacuees returning home, except for the two districts mentioned affected by flood waters from Kedah, even though there is no rain. The number of evacuees caused by flood waters gushing in from Kedah is worse and even more than victims of the huge storm and rain on 4-5 November 2017, with 1284 families and 5,102 people still seeking shelter at flood relief centres. 821 families with 3,381 people are sheltering at Seberang Perai Utara District and 463 families with 1721 people at Seberang Perai Tengah District.
The state government has instructed Jabatan Perairan & Saliran(JPS), Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang(PBAPP) and other agencies to try to pump out the water back into the river when the river level has receded, to try to speed up the reduction of flood waters. We hope that this will allow the residents to go back earlier, and the Penang State Government can only urge patience and understanding in this very trying times.
The Penang state government is also gravely concerned by landslides caused by the fierce storms and rains on the island, especially on the hills around Penang Hill. We will take urgent steps to address this situation and hope that the public will respond to the authorities call for evacuation if and when the need arises.
We thank political parties, NGOs such as Tzu Zhi and members of public who have generously donated not only money but also their time and manpower to these victims including helping to clean up their damaged properties. We also thank Penang REHDA, Penang Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers(FMM), the Selangor state government, Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, Federal government ministries and agencies who have provided both manpower and heavy equipment such as lorries, back hoes, ro-ro.
We are grateful to the Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Ibrahim, decreeing that the Football club Johor Darul Ta’zim FC (JDT), will donate its prize money from the recent Malaysia Cup victory to the flood victims in ravaged Penang. This was announced by JDT club president Princess Tunku Tun Aminah Ibrahim.The Penang State Government together with our MPs and ADUNS, will focus on rescue and relief works in cooperation with other agencies before outlining our next step – rebuilding Penang from this natural disaster.
LIM GUAN ENG