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Sabah Floods - Activate Flood Mitigation Programs - Dr. Jeffrey

Kota Kinabalu:    “The third round of devastating floods is ravaging Sabah with the loss of the life of a child, yet the federal government has failed to show any urgency in tackling the problems in Sabah.” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chief after the latest round of floods.

More than 30 villages in Tambunan, Keningau and Tenom were flooded with more than 2,000 evacuees in flood relief centres.   There were also reports of serious flooding in the District of Beaufort and flash floods in many other parts of Sabah.   Some 36 schools were also flooded and had to be closed.
It is extremely disappointing, it is as though the PM of 1-Malaysia is not the PM for Sabahans and Sabah does not have a Prime Minister or federal government in its time of need.

The neglect of Sabahans is not surprising given that flood victims in the Peninsula were given thousands of ringgit in flood aid as well as TV sets, refrigerators, mattresses, furniture and all sorts of goodies as well as Petronas vouchers while the PM had only prayed that God will ease and relieve the flood victims in Sarawak.

The continuous neglect of Sabahans will keep them wondering whether there is any more reason for Sabah to remain in the federation.

Regardless of the neglect or inaction of the federal government, the Sabah government needs to take urgent steps to assist the flood victims and take serious proactive steps to resolve the perennial flood situation.

Since the CM has said that the 2014 Budget is a historical record in revenue and expenditure, it should set aside a substantial amount for flood aid and relief rations immediately for the flood victims. 

Not only there were flood damage to homes and properties, in many areas in the Keningau and Tenom, many padi fields were inundated destroying the padi crops.   The flood damage is more serious than was reported by the media.

In the interior, one of the main causes of the floods in Keningau, Tenom and Beaufort is the Pagalan and the Padas Rivers bursting its banks due to the incessant rains.  

The Sabah government should urgently set up a Cabinet Flood Mitigation committee to consider and come up with flood mitigation programs to solve the overflowing of the Pagalan and Padas Rivers.   Perhaps, an immediate step could be to deepen the rivers and to build a diversion channel to divert excessive water to reduce the water levels and flooding.

For funding, the Sabah government should ask for the amount needed to be set-off from the RM26.6 billion oil revenue that will be taken from Sabah in 2014.

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