Floods forcing Govt to relook its growth plans

The Star

The Government may have to review all its existing development plans as a long-term measure to overcome the perennial problem of flooding. 

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the Cabinet had decided that a team would be formed to look into these development plans, particularly those in the Ninth Malaysia Plan. 

“The team will be headed by Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Azmi Khalid and made up of representatives from the state governments. It will hold discussions with local and state governments as well as other agencies such as the Economic Planning Unit. 

“Whatever proposals it has will be submitted to the Cabinet, which may then review the development plans and incorporate changes in the mid-term review of the 9MP,” he told reporters after visiting a kerepek factory in Kg Bukit Bangkong here yesterday. 

Abdullah said there could have been cases where a road or residential development had obstructed the flow of water and caused floods in nearby areas. 

“We have to plan everything carefully or else we will have to fork out funds every year for repairs and to aid flood victims. 

“For the massive flooding in Johor last year, we had come up with over RM1bil in aid,” he pointed out. 

Abdullah said Malaysians must also consider the effects of climate change which might bring about heavier rainfall. 

On his visit to Selangor, Abdullah said he was happy to see more agro-based activities and that rural folk were now more keen in venturing into these areas.