Flood mitigation projects to be expedited

SEGAMAT: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pic) has given his assurance that the flood mitigation projects, especially in Johor, will be expedited and need to commence from June this year.

He said the tendering process for the projects needs to be done as soon as possible, considering that the flood issue is a recurring problem.

“If we don’t do anything serious to address this (flood) issue, it will happen again. This is not the first time, and it has been going on for years and sometimes twice a year.

“As such, we decided that expensive flood mitigation projects worth RM600 million and above will be expedited,” he told reporters after visiting the temporary relief centre at Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) Kampung Tengah here today.

He said the postponement of six flood mitigation projects before this was to avoid leakages in allocations to assist the people.

At the same time, the prime minister warned those involved not to misuse the disaster allocation provided by the government.

“I strongly warn against using the allocation given during floods, emergencies or other situations, such as for flood mitigation projects, as an opportunity to make extra money,” said the Tambun Member of Parliament.

During the tabling of Budget 2023, Anwar announced that six flood mitigation projects, including one in Sungai Johor, Kota Tinggi here, will be re-tendered by June this year.

Other projects are the construction of the Sungai Klang-Sungai Rasau dual-function reservoir in Selangor and Phase 3 of the Sungai Golok Integrated River Basin Development Project in Kelantan.

Meanwhile, the prime minister said the federal government had approved an allocation of RM10 million for flood aid through the Rural and Regional Development Ministry as announced by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“I have also announced an additional allocation of RM50 million to be channelled to flood victims and several urgent projects,” he said.

Anwar also said that Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi had requested several new projects to be implemented in the state to reduce the impact of floods.

“So I told him that since we can save around RM1 billion to RM2 billion from old projects, the money will be used for new projects in Segamat, Kota Tinggi and other areas badly hit by floods,” he said.

Besides Ahmad Zahid, Anwar said Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa and other Cabinet ministers have come to monitor the flood situation in the state and offer help to reduce the burden of victims who are forced to evacuate or those experiencing hardships.

He has also contacted several government-linked companies (GLCs), which managed to raise an additional fund of RM20 million to assist Johor residents.

“Tenaga Nasional Bhd will immediately solve electricity problems, Yayasan Sime Darby has provided health kits for over 1,500 families while the rest raised RM20 million in flood relief funds for Johor,” he said.

Earlier, Anwar spent about 30 minutes meeting flood victims at the PPS and listening to a briefing from relevant agencies. He was accompanied by Onn Hafiz and Johor Police Chief Datuk Kamarul Zaman Mamat. – Bernama