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KUCHING, Jan 15: Dudong assemblyman Dato Sri Tiong King Sing has recommended upgrading the drainage and river systems in Sungai Merah, Sibu, to reinforced concrete as part of the district’s flood prevention solution.
Tiong, who is also Bintulu MP, had requested the district officer to convene a flash flood committee on Jan 25 consisting of the Sibu Municipal Council (SMC), Sibu Rural District Council (SRDC), Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID), and Public Works Department (JKR) to develop a masterplan and estimate the funding needed.
“I will propose these plans to the chief minister and the federal government to obtain the necessary allocations to solve flood problems in the area.
“I would also remind councilors who have the relevant contracts for river and drain maintenance works to perform their duties seriously.
“With the cooperation and coordination of all parties, we will be able to solve this long-standing problem and help the ‘rakyat’,” said Tiong in his Facebook post today.
The Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president also said that the recent flood disaster in Sentosa, Sibu was caused by lack of proper maintenance and dredging works on river estuaries and monsoon drains.
He stressed these heavily silted estuaries have severely affected the ability of the rivers to discharge into other channels, and the thick fungi floating on the river surface also makes it difficult for even motorboats to traverse.
He said without the necessary deep dredging work on the rivers, siltation has built up and caused blockages which quickly resulted in flash floods during heavy downpours.
He added, during his recent visit together with the DID and Malaysia Civil Defense Department (APM) to Bridge A and Bridge B in Kampung Usaha Jaya, as well as the flooded sections of Jalan Bukit Lima Timur, he found out that the surfaces of these drains and estuaries have all been cleaned up.
“But with a deeper understanding of the actual situation which ordinary people cannot detect, there still needs to be deeper riverbeds, and fixes to the uneven slopes, inconsistent widths, and other substantial maintenance works to these drains. These issues have been plaguing the residents here for 20 years,” he said. ― DayakDaily