KUALA LUMPUR: The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and the Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim have until Monday (Sept 26) to respond to residents’ demands for flood mitigation plans over the upcoming monsoon season.
Lawyer Lim Wei Jiet who is representing a group of Kuala Lumpur residents said yesterday (Sept 20) the residents led by former Bar Council president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan served a letter through their lawyers to the minister and the agency in charge.
Lim who is representing them said the residents were prepared to sue if the authorities failed to meet their demands.
“Most of the information requested by them are status updates of certain flood mitigation measures which DBKL has promised the Auditor-General would be carried out in 2022,” he said in a statement.
The Auditor-General produced a report in August 2022 highlighting several failures on the part of DBKL to carry out flood mitigation projects proposed in its own flood master plan.
It concluded that only eight out of 104 or 7.7 per cent of flood mitigation measures proposed in the flood master plan have been implemented and, or is in the process of implementation by DBKL.
“DBKL’s response to the Auditor General was that another 22 flood mitigation measures would be implemented in 2022. Hence, the KL residents are now requesting to know the current status of the said 22 flood mitigation measures.
“Another example is that the Auditor General also identified five short-term mitigation measures proposed in the flood master plan that have not been implemented in the highly flood-prone areas encompassing Jalan Tun Razak, Persiaran Ampang Hilir and Jalan U-Thant as of March 2022.
Lim said that the local authority’s response was that the proposal on flood mitigation measures for Jalan Tun Razak dan Jalan U-Thant would be conducted in 2022.
“Similarly, the residents are requesting an update on whether these mitigation measures have indeed been carried out since.”
He said the residents were also requesting for information on any other flood mitigation measures which DBKL has implemented or plans to implement to deal with the risk of flooding in Kuala Lumpur.
“These residents believe that this information is necessary for the public to scrutinise in detail DBKL’s flood mitigation measures in order to ascertain if they are adequate, and to engage and provide feedback if they are not.
Lim said transparency of information was crucial for public awareness and to enable public participation, which in turn, is the cornerstone of good public-policy making.
This he said was vital for issues as serious and as important as floods, which have caused untold destruction to lives, livelihoods and property in Kuala Lumpur in the past.
“The right to information is also intertwined with every person’s right to a clean, healthy, safe and sustainable environment.”
Kuala Lumpur was inundated by floodwaters in December last year as well as March, April and May this year. These incidents resulted in the crippling of the city’s traffic and caused many vehicles to be damaged by floodwaters.
In August the Public Accounts Committee reportedly asked Shahidan to present himself for its proceedings to explain the incomplete projects on the back of the worsening floods.