Penang floods Learn from HK Taiwan and Japan – ex-councillor

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang state government should come up with a proper and detailed standard operating procedures (SOP) when facing with flood incidents or any natural disasters, said a former Penang Island City Council (MBPP) councillor.

Dr Lim Mah Hui said such environmental challenges are expected to occur more often in future, while admitting that the state government was caught unprepared for the severity of the November storm after experiencing the September floods.

“We need to learn a few lessons as the old data on rainfall and temperature are no longer suitable with climate change, as attested by the frequency and severity of rainfall and drought in other countries,” he said when contacted.

He said, not only Penang, but Malaysia as a whole should come up with a proper and detailed SOP to meet such challenges which are expected to occur more often now.

“Malaysia has been spared the ravages of typhoons and hurricanes thus far, while countries like Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan have good SOP and systems of preparedness. We should learn from them,” he said.

Lim said the existing infrastructure in Penang, as well as planning policies and guidelines, are no longer adequate to deal with new challenges of climate change.

“Both the state and federal governments need to listen to what many professionals have been saying, that our planning system has to change and take into account challenges of climate change,” he added.

Penang experienced massive flood after a cylone hit the island state and parts of Kedah on Saturday.

In a statement, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said, there was no early warning or alert from the Malaysian Meteorological Department until at 9.30pm Saturday while heavy winds were already gushing into the island.

Seven dead and 100,000 homes were affected by the flood.

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