Tiong: Unrealistic to mitigate Sibu floods based on history

Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing

KUCHING, Aug 17: Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said it is wholly unrealistic, ineffective and unwise to implement water management policies in Sibu town based on studies made 12 years ago.

He asserted the river beds of the Rajang, Igan Rivers and other related rivers causing the floods in Sibu have gone through much change over the years.

As such, he strongly suggested the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) conduct the latest survey report based on the current situation of the rivers.

“The purpose is to find the most effective solution towards solving the prevailing flood problems, especially addressing the overwhelming amount of water that will be potentially released from the Bakun Dam,” he said in a press statement today.

He was responding to Senator Robert Lau who believed that building bunds, pumping stations and retention ponds would mitigate flood problems in Sibu.

In stating this, he emphasised if the rivers are not ensured to be able to accommodate the amount of water discharged from the retention ponds, construction of more pumping stations will not help.

“There are many areas in Sibu, urban and rural, that have seen much development over the years but sadly the local flood mitigation system has not been similarly developed to cope.

“This has led to substandard drainage that cannot discharge excess water efficiently. These are the issues on which the authorities must keep a close eye on,” said Tiong, adding that Lau was merely insisting on his own opinion and anecdotes as the best solutions for Sibu.

He reiterated that Lau has not even consider to draw up the entire Sibu flood mitigation system to pinpoint the areas needing drain widening.

“Sibu sits on water discharged by the Rajang and Igan, even through the Mukah area. Therefore, only by managing the rivers and making them the focus of flood mitigation, can we solve the prevailing flooding.

“I believe this is the approach that all must take in order to solve the issue for Sibu,” he said. —DayakDaily