Yong slams State govt’s tepid response to 40yo flooding problem at Lrg Foochow 1

Yong (left) explaining to reporters about the flash flood issue plaguing Lorong Foochow 1 during a press conference at Sarawak DAP HQ today (July 28, 2022).

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By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, July 28: Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong expresses her dissatisfaction with the Sarawak government for failing to address the serious flash flood issue which has plagued Lorong Foochow 1 residents for the past 40 years.

Yong stated that she was dissatisfied with a written response she received from Sarawak Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, who is also the Minister for Public Health, Housing, and Local Government, when she raised the flash flood issue during the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting in May this year.

“The flash flood occurred at Lorong Foochow 1, specifically Lorong Foochow 1T, 1V, 1W, 1X, 1Y, and 1Z, where residents have been experiencing flash floods for the past 40 years during heavy rain and king tide season.

“It is well known that this area will never be free of flash floods because the drainage is still earth drains or mud drains that have never been upgraded, as well as because of the low level of the road surface.

“So, even if there is no king tide or heavy rain, there will be flooding, which is a problem,” she said today at a press conference held at the Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) headquarters (HQ) here.

Yong said as the area’s people’s representative for the past 15 years, she has never failed to raise the flash flood issue in DUN because it affects approximately 100 to 200 households.

“This is a serious issue for the residents who live there. To those of us who do not live there, it may seem like a petty issue.

“Not only is it difficult for the residents to clean up the mess left by the flash floods, but they also have to deal with property damage,” she explained.

The Pending assemblywoman cited Dr Sim’s written response: “The term contractor did carry out the monthly maintenance work for all earth drains, so the area is naturally low lying, and if the council embarks on raising the road levels and changing all earth drains to concrete drains, neither will be an effective solution.”

“In other words, the ministry is saying it’s useless to upgrade the earth drains into concrete drains and it’s ineffective to increase the road level to a higher level because that is not an effective solution, and that is claimed by the ministry,” she asserted.

“Furthermore, he stated that local mitigation measures in the area are difficult due to a lack of space along the river for flood mitigation bunds and structures, and that protecting the entire area from flooding will be costly, requiring the construction of a barrage near the Sungai Tabuan river mouth, which is expected to cost RM380 million,” she revealed.

Yong also stated that the RM380 million figure is from 2018, and that the construction cost has not been updated.

“I am dissatisfied with the response because it demonstrates that the State government is failing to fulfil its responsibilities in resolving the flash flood issue at Lorong Foochow 1.

“As a result, I would like to urge the State government, as a responsible government, to resolve the flash flood issue as soon as possible,” she stressed. — DayakDaily