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Two packages of Tawau Flood Mitigation Project currently being implemented - Tuan Ibrahim


27 July 2022

By Farah Salim


KUALA LUMPUR: Minister of Environment and Water Dato' Sri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the first two packages of the Tawau Flood Mitigation Project (Packages 3 and 4 under one contract) are currently being implemented in the district, during the Question and Answer Session at the Second Meeting of the Fifth Term of the 14th Parliament here on Wednesday.


Package 3 of the Sungai Tawau Flood Mitigation Plan involves downstream widening and deepening of the river-mouth, and upgrading of the Apas Bridge.


Package 4 entails expansion of the estuary from the Sungai Rakis outlet right up to the estuary of Sungai Tawau.


Tuan Ibrahim said his Ministry had provided an allocation of RM50 million for the implementation of Packages 3 and 4.


He, however, did not touch on the proposed Packages 1 and 2 of the same project towards achieving a total solution to the unending flood calamity in the Tawau district.


The Minister was replying to Tawau MP Datuk Christina Liew who wanted to know whether the four packages of the Tawau Flood Mitigation Project (Packages 1, 2, 3 and 4) can be expedited and completed under the 12th Malaysia Plan (2021-2025), and not for the project cost balance (for Packages 1 and 2) to be applied for in the 13th Malaysia Plan (2026-2030) for a total solution plan to the flood woes there.


Packages 1 and 2 involve the Sungai Tawau Flood Diversion Line at Kg Pasir Putih for which an allocation will be applied in the 13th Malaysia Plan (2026-2030) as stated in a written parliamentary reply to Liew earlier this year.


The Tawau MP then ventured to ask whether the Minister could guarantee that there was strict supervision by the relevant authorities to ensure that the Flood Mitigation Project was being implemented according to the approved plan and specifications so that no problems would arise later.


Posing an additional question, Liew asked whether the Government can do its best to expedite the Flood Mitigation Project, and if necessary, whether the Government can use its Emergency Fund for the purpose of completing Packages 1 and 2 (proposed for inclusion in the 13th Malaysia Plan (2026-2030) under the 12th Malaysia Plan (2021-2025) itself.


"This is because the people of Tawau have suffered long enough due to flash floods. We cannot make the people wait until the 13th Malaysia Plan (2026-2030) for a total solution to the perennial flood problem in Tawau.


"As far as I know, the Department of Drainage and Irrigation (JPS) in Tawau has also submitted a proposal for the other two packages (Packages 1 and 2) to be completed as soon as possible under the 12th Malaysia Plan (2021-2025), instead of being deferred to the 13th Malaysia Plan 2020-2030)," she told the Dewan Rakyat.


In response, Tuan Ibrahim said there are many factors that cause floods, and that a lot of agencies such as the Drainage and Irrigation Department (JPS) are involved in flood management.


The Minister, who misunderstood Liew's additional question, said emergency funding was not necessary as there is already a budget for Packages 3 and 4 (that is, RM50 million) when what she meant was financing for the implementation of the proposed Packages 1 and 2.


According to him, the implementation of Packages 3 and 4 was supposed to have been completed in April this year.


"Delay was due to the need to relocate squatters occupying some 120 lots within the alignment under Package 3, and this exercise takes time," he explained, adding that these packages are scheduled to be completed on January 20, 2024.