The flood issues in Penang have caused bickering between the Opposition-led state government and the federal government.
The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition members blamed the state government for not improving the drainage. On the other hand, the DAP-led state government said the floods were caused by incomplete federal government projects to mitigate flooding.
The heavy rainfall left many parts of Penang inundated over the past few days, with landslides blocking roads. A road leading to beachside hotels in Batu Ferringhi collapsed recently.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the flash floods would not recur if “the federal government completes its flood mitigation project that is way overdue”. However, critics disagree that it is only the federal government that is at fault.
A local government source said we only had to look at Google Maps and the answer would be obvious enough. There is too much development happening in Penang, he pointed out.
This would remind those who are familiar with the flooding and landslide issues in Penang of what Tanjong Bunga State Legislative Assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu did when he shaved his head bald as a protest against the Penang state government.
There are insufficient actions taken against a company over illegal hill clearing of Bukit Relau or better known as Botak Hill since the clearing began.
When Teh protested, the reply he got was “if you don’t want development you should move to Africa”.
According to the source, tourists have dwindled in numbers as the island is losing its identity as home to lush greeneries and nature.
Another sign of over-development is the colour of the sea water. This is a result of soil flowing into rivers that lead to the sea.
From the top of Penang Hill, it looks as though the mainland and island are about to be connected by reclaimed land.
Earlier this year, it was cited in reports that several other hills such as Bukit Laksamana, Teluk Bahang, Teluk Bahang Shaolin Temple land and Bukit Kukus, Paya Terubong, have been cleared. There is no proper drainage system in these areas. Question marks remain over the first and second Botak Hills.
Instead of blaming the federal government, the Penang state government needs to look into these problems.
Source : Soo Wern Jun@The Heat Malaysia Online