Wednesday, September 23

Sabah asks for RM2.5 bln


Junz Wong

KOTA KINABALU: The Warisan-led state government has called on the federal government to approve the much-needed RM2.5 billion allocation in the upcoming 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) to solve the flood mitigation issues in the four major districts in Sabah.

State Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Junz Wong said that the State Irrigation and Drainage Department (JPS) had initially asked for a RM3 billion allocation, back in the Seventh Malaysian Plan (7MP), to solve the flood mitigation issues in Kota Kinabalu, Putatan, Penampang and Sepanggar.
“However, Sabah only received RM3 million in the 7MP. Then in the Eleventh Malaysia Plan (11MP), we were given about RM300 million. The state government then forked up another RM200 million.
“So altogether, for the last 20 years, we only had about RM511 million for us to build basic infrastructure for flood mitigation,” said Junz.
“We are still short of about RM2.5 billion and this (allocation) doesn’t even include Tawau, Sandakan, Lahad Datu, Kota Marudu and Beaufort,” he added.

He spoke to the press after chairing a meeting with members of parliament and assemblymen of Kota Kinabalu, Putatan, Penampang and Sepanggar at Wisma Pertanian, here yesterday.

When asked whether Sabah’s opposition stance would deter its allocation proposal, Junz said that their political alignment shouldn’t even be an issue.

“You see, when you form a federal government, you are actually building a nation. When you are building a nation, you are looking into taking care of the people in Malaysia,” he said.

Junz said that Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal had always stressed that the Warisan-led govermment would always work with the federal government despite the two not being politically-aligned.
Separately, Junz disclosed that the state might also consider imposing stricter regulations when it comes to development plan approvals – in an effort to improve the drainage systems in Sabah.
He explained that the uncontrolled development in Penampang had contributed to the drainage problem in the area.
He said that the drainage system in Penampang is still the same now as it was ten years ago, despite the scattered development there.

“If you continue to have uncontrolled developments, we can only expect the worst. The time has come for us to look into non-structural control – to implement stricter regulations for development plans.

“We are now currently looking into this thoroughly and we will bring the proposals to the state cabinet,” said Junz.