KUCHING (March 18): A standard masterplan on drainage is needed to solve the flash flood problems in the urban areas of Sarawak, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
“I have announced it before that we will do a comprehensive study on our drainage system but it requires a huge amount of funds… in the billions.
“It also has to be done stage by stage and there must be a continuity because at the moment we depend on grant from federal (government) but it is ad hoc,” he told a press conference after officiating at the state-level Women’s Day 2023 celebration themed ‘Embrace Equity’ at the Penview Convention Centre (PCC) today.
That is why, he added, there is a need for a standard masterplan, which would take time.
“It could be five years, it could be 10 years. People think it is immediately but no, it has to be a long-term plan.
“If you study the cost analysis, most of our money is spent during floods. By right we should look at how to properly manage the flood, especially our drainage system,” he said.
Abang Johari said he often looks to Singapore, which now no longer floods because of its good drainage system.
“Johor and Singapore are next to each other. Johor is flooding but not in Singapore. I went to Singapore with (Deputy Premier Dato Sri) Dr Sim (Kui Hian), we went to Ang Mo Kio settlement, which is right on the river but there is no flood. Their consultant is from Sweden, and I asked him (Dr Sim) to use this consultant. The Netherlands too, it is below sea level.
“Don’t expect me to achieve it immediately. I might no longer be the Premier (by then) because our state is big. We work on Kuching first then move on to other strategic places like Sibu,” he said.
Among those present at the celebration were Dr Sim; Abang Johari’s wife Puan Sri Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tun Tuanku Bujang; State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar; Sarawak Minister of Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Sarawak Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah; and Federal Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Malaysia Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.