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Shah Alam 225 Flood, State government should present a white paper in the coming State Legislative Assembly Hall meeting on 14th Mac 2006

Media Statement
by Lau Weng San

(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): The State Government shall on 14th Mac 2006 present a white paper on the recent 225 Shah Alam flood, to explain all the causes and effects of such disaster (including reasons for the water level alarm system failure in Sungai Damansara) and various remedial actions undertaken and to be taken by the State Government (including of whether the State Government is prepared to compensate the victims) etc.

Being the capital of a “Developed State”, Shah Alam is expected to have first class mindset and facilities to counter happenings of natural disaster such as the 225 massive floods. But the massive flood has not only shown that the State Government is not able to portray first world mentality, but also lacking first world facilities and infrastructure, at least to counter natural disasters.                                                                                   

The Mentri Besar of Selangor Khir Toyo claimed after the flood that though the Department of irrigation and Drainage Malaysia (DID) has installed River Warning Alarm/Warning System in Sungai Damansara, the system malfunctioned  when the floods occurred. He is quoted on Sin Chew Metro page ME05 as he will request a report from DID on the matter.

Utusan Malaysia page 6 also carried a report of a victim’s dismay over the incident when the authority failed to give alarm to them before they were evacuated with their precious belongings and documents. One of the victim, Azman Mohd Said said that the DID shall install such system as it is a very important system to monitor river level.

Since Khir Toyo had requested DID to explain on the failure, DAP Selangor strongly urges the Mentri Besar to come out with a white paper on 225 flood. Other than explanations on the failure of the River Level Monitoring System, we hope the State Government can explain the following in the white paper:

  • Since 225 flood had brought severe losses (there are about 9000 victims evacuated, more than 3000 houses damaged and over 1000 vehicles submerged), is the State Government prepared to compensate them? If no, then what are the reasons?
  • Senior Engineer of PLUS Kamaruzaman was quoted in Sin Chew Jit Poh that over-development on highlands along the upstream of Sungai Damansara is one of the many causes of the flood. The State Government shall explain whether this is related to the housing development project in Bukit Jelutong by Guthrie? Or it is caused by over-development in Bukit Cahaya?
  • Shah Alam MP and Minister for Rural and Regional Development Datuk Abdul Aziz Samsudin claimed that hillside development has caused uneven water flow into the siver which eventually caused the floods. Therefore, is the State Government will to reveal all EIA reports pertaining to the hillseide development surrounding that area?

Khir should bear in mind that for such a large scale flash flood to happen in the state capital is a shame to the people of Selangor since the Mentri Besar had self-proclaimed that the state is already a “Developmed State”. It’s a irony that being a “Developed State”, even a simple river level warning system can malfunction, not to mention on the failure of state government’s life saving boats to reach the affected area after spending millions of ringgit to buy  the life saving boats.

At least, Khir should emulate what developed countries have been doing which is to present a white paper in the State Legislative Assembly Hall as a commitment from the State Government to uphold transparency and accountability.


* Lau Weng San, DAPSY Assistant National Publicity Secretary

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