TASEK GELUGOR, Nov 7 – The Penang state government is reminded to scrutinise proposed development projects before approving them to avert natural disasters such as floods. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said the approval of development projects must also be in given in accordance with the rules and regulations set by the authorities.
“Any development project that needs to be undertaken must follow the rules so that it does not adversely affect the environment and worsen the situation. The federal government will discuss with the Penang government about this as it is important to prioritise the safety and welfare of the people,” he told a press conference after visiting the flood relief centre at Sekolah Agama Rakyat (SAR) Ar Ridwan, here today.
Also present were the prime minister’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim. Najib urged the Penang government to consider the views of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) if they would bring benefit to all parties.
Several NGOs had urged the Penang government to scrap hill development projects. On the floods, Najib said he was satisfied with the role played by the state government and its agencies who afre working closely with the federal government in addressing the problem.
“This close collaboration resulted in a proper flood relief work. All parties are working around the clock to assist the flood victims and this is acknowledged by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.” he said adding the good relations during disaster was the best example and should be emulated by all parties.
Najib said the Penang government, in a briefing to him, said they needed a RM1 billion allocation to implement 13 large and small projects to alleviate floods. “The federal government has approved a RM150 million allocation for flood mitigation under Third Phase of Sungai Pinang Basin project.”
He said the federal government would not neglect Penang and would continue to channel aid just like they did to Kelantan. “We will look at our financial situation and will help the state government to implement these projects,” he said advising the public not to throw garbage into ditches to prevent them from being clogged and cause floods. Najib said the recent massive floods was due to the heavy rainfall and also poor human attitude.
“The rainfall on Sunday is equivalent to one month of rainfall. Just like other countries, we are not spared from natural disasters. The federal government will continue to protect the people,” he added. At the event, Girl Guides Association of Malaysia president Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor handed over aid of RM50,000 to the flood victims and RM60,000 to the National Security Council (Penang). — Bernama