Michael Lee: Penang overpays private companies but diverts flood funds

“Is paying hundreds of millions to private companies to do reports more important than much-needed flood mitigation efforts?”

PETALING JAYA: MCA has asked the Penang government to explain the frequent flooding in the state.

This follows after the recently released Auditor-General’s 2016 report found that the Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) had withheld funds received from developers’ mandatory contributions for flood prevention and drainage to the state Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID).


“Property developers have to pay RM50,000 per 0.4ha to MPSP, who are supposed to forward such funds to DID,” said MCA Youth Treasurer Datuk Michael Lee Beng Seng (pix).

“But according to the A-G’s Report, over the past few years, MPSP has only paid RM400,000 each year to DID and kept the rest, and the reason given was that MPSP needed to manage its cash flow,” said Lee, who is also Penang MCA Youth chairman, in a statement on Monday.

Lee said the withheld funds meant that the department had been unable to implement flood mitigation projects in Seberang Perai, which experienced 21 floods in 2016.

“PKR’s Penanti assemblyman Dr Norlela Ariffin revealed she has experienced great difficulty in obtaining promised allocations from the state government for flood mitigation projects,” said Lee.

He asked if the Penang government was so desperate for money that such much-needed funds to save lives and prevent hardship had to be withheld.

He said the Penang government had fully paid a sum of RM220mil for consultancy fees, a figure said to be 400% above guidelines, to carry out reports for three roads measuring 20km in length when construction has yet to begin.

“Is paying hundreds of millions to private companies to do reports more important than much-needed flood mitigation efforts?

“Will the Penang government tell victims that the reason they have to endure frequent flooding is due to ‘technical reasons’?” asked Lee.

Source: The Star Online

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