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Yong: What happened to RM510m for floods?
Published on: Wednesday, July 01, 2020
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Kota Kinabalu: Former Chief Minister Datuk Yong Teck Lee (pic) has queried where the Sabah Government will source a flood mitigation allocation of RM3 billion it pledged in 2018 which he said will only cause the government to go bankrupt.

Yong said the Warisan-led Sabah Government announced on June 28, 2018 that RM3 billion was needed to solve the flooding problems in Kota Kinabalu, Penampang and Putatan alone with RM510 million already approved. “Two years later, nothing has been done. What has happened to the RM510 million approved?” asked Yong. 

“How and where will the Warisan-led Sabah government source the RM3 billion? As it is, the Sabah government is headed for bankruptcy. 

Shafie (Photo Source: Bernama)


“Should we wait till Shafie becomes the Prime Minister? What if he failed to become the Prime Minister?” said Yong, referring to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal being proposed by ex-PM Tun Dr Mahathir as Pakatan Plus’ choice for the post. Yong recalled that most rainy seasons in the 1980s would bring floods to most parts of Kota Kinabalu, including downtown Gaya Street and Kampung Air. 

“In the 1985 state elections, city floods were an election issue that partly contributed to the defeat of the then-mighty Berjaya government,” said the SAPP President.

“As a recollection of the era of floods, some houses at Jalan Kenawai at Dah Yeh Villa along the Damai Road opposite Tshung Tsin school still have the concrete barriers and raised door steps at front porches that were built to keep floods out.

“Similarly, floods in Penampang, Kota Kinabalu, Putatan and Kota Belud will become election issues in the next elections. As well spoken by then-opposition MP for Penampang in 2017, the government should solve the flood problems now or else vacate the government for others to do so.”

Yong urged the government to learn from experience and past lessons. 

When Kota Kinabalu and Penampang were flooded in 1988, Yong said, a government task force studied the flood mitigation solutions and approved funds for multi-agency efforts to implement the flood mitigation projects urgently. 

“Each flood basin like Teck Guan Villa, Dah Yeh Villa, Taman Fortuna/Luyang was allocated to specific agencies. The then Minister of Finance, Bernard Dompok, made sure that the funds were available. I was his assistant,” recalled Yong.

“The Drainage and Irrigation Department built and operated the Likas flood gate and pump house that drained flood waters away from the Likas basin. The flood gate keeps waters out during high tide. The pump house pumps flood water out into the Likas lagoon. Drains were widened and deepened.

“The Public Works Department and City Hall handled the other basins. The whole government worked in unison to solve the flood problems because the floods were causing a lot of damages to the people, whole city and the economy.”

But now, Sabah is enemy to both the Federal Government and the opposition, stressed Yong.

“Sabah has already made ourselves the fierce enemy of not only the Federal Government but also the federal opposition led by Anwar Ibrahim. Remember, the Prime Minister is appointed by the Agong at Istana Negara based on a parliamentary majority. 

“The PM is not appointed by an ex-Prime Minister at Sabah House in KL after meeting a few opposition leaders,” said Yong.

Yong contended that Warisan’s plan to topple the Federal Government will starve Sabah of badly needed public funds and private investments. 

“Already, the RM4 billion State reserves carried forward from 2017 is nearly depleted. Can we expect that this incompetent Warisan government will get the work done?”

 


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