RM1b more needed for flood mitigation in Penang?


The Penang state government has said it needs RM970 million more from KL for flood mitigation projects to prevent flash floods.

It says it has identified seven more areas that require such projects and this would cost RM670 million. Another RM300 million would be needed for 50 water pump stations and five retention ponds.

Areas worst affected by floods are Jalan P Ramlee, Teluk Kumbar and Teluk Bahang on the island and kampongs near rivers on the mainland as well as Kampung Tok Suboh in Bukit Mertajam.

Activist Ong Eu Soon, however, says only a small fraction of that RM1 billion would be needed if the government were to opt for storm water management, which would involve building storm wells with filters in strategic locations. Check out his proposal, which he says uses the latest US technology.

This approach would focus on managing storm water run-off and constructing storm wells rather than the usual digging of deeper drains and the dredging and widening of rivers.

To this, I would add we need to also consider how we are rapidly turning the whole island and urban areas on the mainland into a concrete jungle. No wonder the rainwater has nowhere to go, if it cannot be absorbed into the ground. Even in our own houses, we have poured concrete over what used to be green lawns, which could have absorbed rainwater while elsewhere we have built more roads and car parks. More on this in a coming entry!

So if rainwater cannot be absorbed by the concrete on the ground, where can it go?

Are storm water wells, with filters, the solution or is there a more practical and effective alternative that tackles the problem at source? We probably need to undertake a comprehensive review of drainage in the state. How does Singapore do it?

Eu Soon’s proposal may or may not work. The point is I don’t think there has been enough debate, discussion, consultation and in-depth expert study on this or other alternative solutions.

What do you think?

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27 Nov 2008 6.23pm

Its a good thing that One Eu Soon CAN do something to contribute to the state, rather than anyone that their words exceeded action.

27 Nov 2008 5.36pm

Eu Soon Read the article carefully. Try doing that a year ago and see where your proposal will end up at. Not insinuating anything but seriously you got someone’s attention from CM’s office responding to you. No point taking a broom and sweep everything where your agenda is to just promote your proposal. I suggest you stick to your flood mitigation plan. It’s very unfair of you to just shot from your hips and expect everyone to seriously listen to you. I believe this Jeffrey Chew is a seasoned blogger. I am certain he had good interest in mind and… Read more »

27 Nov 2008 7.55am

The Federal Government’s engineers should give a full, public report on how they plan mitigate flood situations in Penang. Ain’t that they job? By the way, it is not impossible for any concern citizens to voice out their suggestions (it can come from examples that they have seen in Asean or Europe or even USA). What we need to be aware of is that the climate and geographical build up is different. Sometimes, what may work for Penang (and the rest of Malaysia) would be a combination of the different efforts that has been in place all over the world.… Read more »

27 Nov 2008 3.26am


So KL in your opinion is miserable issit? And you want to come to Penang? So that you can come here and turn it into another miserable KL??!!! Ahh… so you want to have your cake and eat it too???

27 Nov 2008 1.20am

Easy… all you silly Penangites stop throwing trash into the drains.

Stop approving construction projects on hillslopes… like what’s happening between Tj Bungah & Batu Feringgi.

Otherwise all the multimillion dollar stormwater abatement & drainage projects will be back to square one in a few years.

26 Nov 2008 9.59pm

I involved a big project about ten yrs ago to divert the big volume of water during heavy rain from the river at botanical garden to gurney drive.
The aim of it,is to solve the flood problems of jln.P Ramlee also the surrounding areas.
Untill now this area is still can’t avoid the flood? Millions had been spent but is back to square one.
Present state govt. budget RM1b to counter the floods in Penang state is worth to spend if it can really solve the problems once and for all.

Ong Eu Soon
Ong Eu Soon
26 Nov 2008 9.52pm

To Reasonable Voter,
Bet I will accept the challenge or not? Wait until I got my proposal ready and let me know where and when to meet.

Ong Eu Soon
Ong Eu Soon
26 Nov 2008 9.48pm

Did any one of you realise that back in year 2000, Mahathir has spent millions of ringgit employing foreign experts to draft the new Urban Storm Water Management Manual for Malaysia to replace the 1975 Urban Drainage Design Manual. 7 years later, the government servants as well as our politicians including Dr M himself didn’t even realise that the manual provide the best solution ever to solve our flash floods problems. Mr Racheljansz, I may be just an ordinary guy but when you meet me in person you will realise that I am more than just ordinary; at least I… Read more »

26 Nov 2008 9.02pm

It is my area ADun is the CM.

26 Nov 2008 9.01pm

Just now when I passed by the Little Sisters of the Poor and my area, I saw the huge monsoon drain about to overflow already. It is like a new phenomenon because this never happen before. Lucky the rain has stopped or else it is another flood. The rain is not exceptionally heavy so I wonder where the water comes from (all laterite colour) and why it isn’t flowing fast enough like last time. And my area MP is the CM. *grins*

26 Nov 2008 6.46pm

The state government should be open-minded and study all available options. In the meantime, the tourist peak season is here and the whole stretch of road from Rasa Sayang Hotel to the Golden Sands is dirty with mud from the construction sites. Do you thin we can be CNG if this goes on in front of these tourists? Who wants to come back here with all this filth?

Reasonable Voter
Reasonable Voter
26 Nov 2008 5.49pm


An offer made for him to come over. Take or forever be silent.

26 Nov 2008 3.42pm

Penang is overdeveloped? I have to disagree! If it had gained independent from Malaysia like Singapore, it would be a big big big city like Hong Kong and Singapore. It would not be a half-developed, half-jungle island. The problem to me is because it is half-half, some wants it fully developed while some wants it to remain as green as possible. For me? I hope it develops to a Hong Kong. Not trying to be racist, but if it is not for the majority Malay population in Malaysia, Penang would have been the capital when British gave us independence. It… Read more »

26 Nov 2008 12.50pm

I had a look at Ong Eu Soon’s proposal.
I’m apprehensive as things usually look good on paper and there maybe arises issues that whilst it may work for Californians but not in Penang.
There need steps taken in that direction.
Nevertheless, wish there is a test run being done in Penang.
Suggest one of the multi-national company that roots in USA especially those in California, being part of the corporate social responsibility and the MPPP as candidates.

Jason Loh
Jason Loh
26 Nov 2008 12.07pm

Singapore is clean and green CNG. I wonder what is the state government’s plan to make Penang CNG too??? Anil is right, Penang is over-developed and under-planned. It’s time for the state government to remedy the problem. They should learn more from Singapore.

26 Nov 2008 11.54am

Could we get a response from some engineers specialising in flood mitigation?

I don’t think ordinary citizens have any idea how to begin to approach this issue.

Do we need to look to the USA for solutions? Singapore had done a lot to control their floods, too. Being another island, maybe we should be looking into what Singapore is doing rather than US of A.

Really, my 2 sen worth.