DAP assemblyman blames flash floods on unmaintained drains

KUCHING: The recent flash flood in the city has prompted re-elected Padungan assemblyman Wong King Wei to ask why the local councils did not carry out dredging and cleaning of the drainage system regularly.

Wong, who is state DAP Socialist Youth chief, said local authorities were expected to perform maintenance works including drainage maintenance works regularly. When our people are paying the assessment rate regularly, every six months, the council is duty-bound to carry out the dredging and cleaning of drainage regularly. But this has not been done,” he said yesterday.

According to Wong, the Drainage and Irrigation Department director had on May 20 admitted to the media that one of the main factors for flash floods in the city was blockage of the drainage system, thus, whenever it rained more than 50mm per hour, many places in the city would experience flash floods.

“This proves that my previous statements that the lack of dedication of local authorities (MBKS, MPP and DBKU) and their councillors or members of the management in cleaning and dredging the drains are true.

“The councillors, particularly for the case of MBKS and MPP, are not seen working on the ground. Most of our people do not know who is the councillor in charge of their area. At the end of the day, the complaints on the problems on drainage, rubbish collection, cleanliness, street lights, health all went to the elected representatives.

“This is not a healthy political structure whereby the actual person, such as the councillors, who are responsible for these problems are not asked to be responsible.

During election, Wong added, SUPP candidates particularly would come out to say that they would solve all the basic problems for the people but avoided talking about state and national policies that were haunting the people.

Taking the regular flash flood incident as a measure, he said it was timely for the government to heed DAP’s call for local authorities election.

“We have been usurped of our rights to the third vote that is apart from having rights to vote for our MPs and state assemblymen, we should be returned the rights of choosing our councillors, which we used to have in 1960s.

Wong believed that it is only through local authorities election that the people can force their councillors to be on the ground and be responsible for the problems created by the councils.

“Flash floods in Kuching are a man-made problem. To tackle this problem, we must start with an effective council and working councillors.-Borneo Post

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