GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government has been told to take responsibility for the massive flash floods which hit many parts of the state today.
The DAP-led state government has also been told to admit that the frequent flooding in the state was a result of rapid development.
People's Alternative Party (PAP) vice-president Rahmad Isahak said the state government should bear full responsibility for the more chronic flash floods, due to its failure to address the issue.
"The state government is not at all bothered by the people's criticisms. To compound matters, their developer-friendly attitude is the main reason for hills and agricultural lands to be approved for development.
"Prior to 2008, the flash floods issue was not one which sent shivers down the spine of the Penang people," he told the New Straits Times.
Rahmad said in the long run, the flash floods issue would lead to a massive tragedy claiming innocent lives rather than merely resulting in damage to properties.
"As such, PAP calls for a review of the state's development plans," he said.
Meanwhile, Penang Gerakan vice-president Oh Tong Keong said the state government should admit that rapid development contributed to the frequent flash floods in the state.
At the same time, Oh said, more effective flood mitigation projects should be put in place to stop the people's nightmare whenever it rains.
"From today's flooding, we can see numerous landslides as well as the roads inundated in muddy and murky water.
"All this is a result of approvals granted by the state government to developers to clear the hillslopes," he said.
Oh said in almost a decade since it came into power, the state government was only good in pushing the blame and responsibility to the Federal government whenever the state was hit by flash floods.
"At times, even God is blamed for the extremely heavy downpour...all these reasons can no longer be accepted by the people.
"What the people want is to see the state's seriousness in solving the problem and not making excuses to evade responsibility," he said.
Oh also called for stricter control to ensure developers do not destroy the environment further.
"It is sad that the flash floods have taken a turn for the worse in the past nine years. Areas which have never been hit by floods are experiencing them now. This clearly shows the failure of the DAP-led Penang government.
"The people demand to see an action plan by the state government to solve the flash floods. I have every faith in the people to judge for themselves what is good and what is not.
"It is my hope that the Penang people will teach DAP a lesson through the ballot boxes this coming 14th general election," he added.