Holistic approach crucial in dealing with flash floods, says deputy minister

Posted on 12 Mar 2024
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Penguang (fourth left) joins others in holding together the ‘prosperity gift’ received from the lion dancers during the Chinese New Year 2024 event at the MPP headquarters.

KUCHING (March 4): There is an urgent need to incorporate a holistic approach in dealing with flash floods, acknowledging climate change as among the contributors.

Deputy Minister for Public Health, Housing and Local Government Sarawak Datuk Dr Penguang said he had talked about and replied to questions regarding this matter in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sittings.

“Clogged or inadequately-sized drains, and improper planning, may contribute to flash floods, but do not forget that climate change is also equally responsible,” he said in his speech at the Padawan Municipal Council (MPP)’s Chinese New Year 2024 event today, where he represented Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian.

Penguang also spoke about how climate change had led to unprecedented rainfall patterns, causing floods in regions where they were previously uncommon.

“If you could recall, years ago we seldom had rain every day, like what’s happening over these past few weeks.

“Nowadays it happens everywhere and flash floods strike, not only in Sarawak and other parts of Malaysia, but in places where flooding never occurred before across Africa, Europe and the Americas.”

Having said this, Penguang also called for solid collective action from the local authorities and the communities to address these issues more effectively, covering key aspects such as waste management, drainage maintenance and flood mitigation measures.

“I believe there is much more that we can accomplish as a united team, which include the councillors and staff members of the local authorities.”

Adding on, Penguang also called upon the local authorities to raise their working standards, going beyond mere compliance with the laws and regulations and always striving for continuous improvements in meeting the evolving public expectations.

“Always take note of the public feedback, which is now more accessible via social media.

“I recommend that we redouble our efforts. While you have already put in considerable work, it may not suffice to meet public expectations.

“Therefore, it is imperative to intensify our focus on addressing common issues such as waste management, clogged drains and flash floods,” he added.

Also present were Batu Kitang assemblyman Dato Lo Khere Chiang, Kota Sentosa assemblyman Wilfred Yap, MPP chairman Tan Kai, and Senator Datuk Ahmad Ibrahim.