Sibu floods proof Batang Rajang, Igan need to be dredged — Tiong

Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing

KUCHING, Sept 9: Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing asserts the recent floods in Sibu prove that the riverbeds of the Rajang and Igan Rivers have become silted to the point of being unable to flow unhindered.

He believed that the floods in the urban areas of Sibu cannot be solved merely by building dams and pumping stations.

“The most important thing at the moment is to understand the severity of the river’s blockage to take the siltation into account. We need to explore conclusively how to effectively solve this problem.

“If we do not discuss these factors in detail and proceed to build pumping stations and dams without foresight, we will not be able to bring a long-term solution. Without resolving the underlying factors that lead to flooding in the urban areas from the rivers’ estuaries, how will the waters be discharged effectively?” Tiong asked.

Tiong who is also the president of Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) held that even before water from the dam was allowed to completely discharge into the sea, several episodes of heavy rainfall have resulted in the river being unable to cope with the sheer volume of additional water, rain and dam water combined.

To him, this has led to Sibu’s flood situation that the residents are facing.

“Just like the road needs to be spacious enough to accommodate higher traffic volume, the river must be dredged too to avoid congestion (sic),” Tiong asserted.

Meanwhile, he highlighted that 200 farmers in Sibu especially in Sungai Bidut have been affected by the recent floods in Sibu.

“Every time the crops are about to be harvested, their produce is abolished (sic) in a flash, bringing intense despair.

“These farmers have told me that every time they see a downpour, their first reaction is to feel fear and pray for divine mercy,” shared Tiong who is also the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China.

He stressed that the hard work of more than 200 farmers has been wiped out time and again.

“In view of this, I once again strongly demand for the Sarawak Irrigation and Drainage Department to implement urgent riverbed studies to understand the severity of the river’s congestion (sic).

“We need immediate effective countermeasures and to solve the flooding problem that has plagued us for so many years.” — DayakDaily