(Penang, Monday): It is most shocking that despite being the second-term Penang Chief Minister, the flashflood problem in Georgetown has become increasingly worse instead of better - and this despite all the promises of tens and hundreds of millions of ringgit of flood mitigation schemes promised by the Gerakan government in the past two decades.
Last night’s crippling of Georgetown is one such example, where as a result of a three-hour downpour, Georgetown became the "Venice of the East". The Sungai Pinang water level rose to a dangerous 2.81 metre, with traffic in most parts of the Georgetown coming to a standstill between 8.30 p.m. and midnight.
Among the areas badly hit were Magazine Street, Noordin Street, Pesgrave Street, Macallum Street, Sandiland Street, Love Lane, Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, Transfer Road, Anson Road, Perak Road, Campbell Street, McNair Street, C.Y.Choy Road, Pulau Tikus, Leith Street, Fettes Park.
In Hong Seng Estate in Mount Erskine, the area was flooded waist-deep, with several motorcycles washed away.
Penang Chief Minister, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon should explain whether the State Government is turning Penang into the "Venice of the East" where gondolas will be provided by the MPPP for tourists to go round Georgetown after two to three hours of downpour - which will give Penang another unusual tourist draw?
When Georgetown was crippled by flashfloods the first time Tsu Koon became Chief Minister in 1990, he flew down to Kuala Lumpur in a highly-publicised trip to meet the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to ask for a special allocation for flood alleviaton scheme for Georgetown.
Nothing good seems to have come out of such a trip, and after the landslide victory of the Barisan Nasional in Penang in the April 1995 general elections, Tsu Koon does not seem to be moved or concerned any more by floods crippling Georgetown, although they are becoming worse with passing months.