Deputy Chief Minister and Works Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin discussing with Deputy Works Minister Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup after the signing of MoU between the Public Works Department (JKR) and Sabah JKR, September 17, 2021. — Bernama pic
KOTA KINABALU, Sept 17 — A special committee has been set up to find out the cause of natural disasters, especially floods, in the state.
Deputy Chief Minister and Works Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin is chairman of the committee which would review and study the causes of natural disasters, especially flash floods.
Bung said the state cabinet had entrusted him to find out the exact causes of the incidents, particularly the frequent flash floods after heavy rain.
He said flash floods would occur after a few hours of heavy rain.
“But we do not know the source, so we will conduct studies to identify it and find solutions,” he told reporters at the state Public Works Department office here today after attending the signing ceremony for cooperation between the Federal Public Works Department and the state for the implementation of the Data Integration System Program for Administration, Utilisation and Project Management.
Bung assured that the state government would take the necessary measures to resolve the issues identified by the study.
He did not rule out that the ongoing Pan Borneo Highway project might be one of the factors behind the worsening flood situation.
Bung also said that water supply had to be cut off temporarily in some areas after Wednesday’s floods in Penampang.
He said it would take time to clean the water treatment plants after they were flooded and filled with mud and debris, he said, adding that damaged equipment have to be replaced.
“It will take about a month to repair the equipment as the replacement parts will need to be brought in from overseas,” he said.
Bung added he had instructed the Water Department to use lorry tankers to send water supply to the affected residents.
The flash floods on Wednesday left a trail of destruction in Kota Kinabalu, Penampang and Putatan districts. It also caused landslides, damaged roads, houses and cars, and uprooted trees.
A 25-year-old woman, her eight-month-old daughter, and a five-year-old girl were killed in a landslide at Forest Hill in Penampang.
This was the fifth flooding incident to hit Sabah this year, and it has been described as the worst so far.
On September 3, Kota Kinabalu, Inanam and Penampang were also struck by floods and landslides which claimed three lives and damaged a few buildings at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital 1.
Yesterday, Warisan vice president Datuk Junz Wong asked the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) administration to clarify the status of the flood mitigation plan involving Kota Kinabalu and the surrounding areas.
He said the clarification is important, as more and more city folks were devastated after suffering huge losses.
Kota Kinabalu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Datuk Michael Lui also appealed to the federal and state governments to expedite the implementation of the Greater Kota Kinabalu Flood Prevention Plan to resolve the perennial flooding in the state capital and outlying areas.
He said the government must take the flooding issue seriously that has caused huge losses, pain and inconvenience to the people.
Meanwhile, about 30 flood victims are still being housed in a temporary shelter in Penampang as at 8am today. — Borneo Post Online