MACC must investigate the use of 6 flood retention ponds for development – Hannah Yeoh

Claims of indiscriminate development affecting environment are no longer fantasies but a reality proved by evidences of cause and effect, says Hannah Yeoh pointing out the speed with which the river was overflooded without the mitigation of retention ponds for floodwaters. Photo courtesy of Hannah Yeoh Facebook.

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 28 – The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has been called to respond within 24 hours on an audit report that six retention ponds used for flood prevention had been approved and alienated for development in Kuala Lumpur.

At a press conference here today, Member of Parliament for Segambut Hannah Yeoh said this and other inconsistent development plans approved by the Mayor of Kuala Lumpur during the period 2015 to 2020 were major reasons behind the recent flashfloods in the city and called for an immediate investigation into the matter.

In a statement released earlier today, she cited the recent Auditor General’s 2019 Report, where it was revealed that from 2015 to 2020 the Mayor had approved 943 developments which were inconsistent with KL City Plan 2020.

“It was also stated that the change in zoning of land use and density had an impact on the environment causing reduction of open space, flash floods in Kuala Lumpur and traffic congestion.

“Possibly the most damning revelation in this report would be the discovery that 6 retention ponds used for flood prevention had been approved and alienated for development. This change would directly affect the capacity of the retention ponds, crippled the entire flood operations system under the Kuala Lumpur Flood Mitigation and expose Kuala Lumpur to more frequent flash floods.”

During the same period from 2015 to 2020, Kuala Lumpur experienced flash floods 48 times, the audit report had revealed.

Clear proof of factors that are causing flash floods in Kuala Lumpur. Auditor General Report 2019

There was also a significant increase in flash floods from 5 times in 2017 to 13 times in 2020 (almost tripled).

Hannah said she had raised the matter in the recent Parliament sitting on the lack of response from MACC towards this report and its revelation.

“One week after the persistent heavy rain on 18 December 2021, Kuala Lumpur experienced extensive destructive floods covering 12 areas and more than 90 landslides.

“As DBKL struggles to clear flood debris and mitigate further erosion, there is a need to stop and take stock of their way of approving developments in Kuala Lumpur.

“The devastation caused by the floods last week must be the wake up call for MACC and DBKL to spring into action. I will not allow the floods in Kolam Air and Kampung Kasipillay located in the constituency in Segambut to be treated with no sense of urgency by the authorities. As their Member of Parliament, I demand for immediate actions to be taken on the revelations in this Laporan Ketua Audit Negara. MACC must respond in 24 hours by opening an investigation and update the people of Kuala Lumpur accordingly.”

She said all details were clearly stated in the audit report including the chronology and failure of the approving committee.

“If Prime Minister Ismail Sabri is serious about this flood, he must leave no stone unturned.”