Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has made it clear that the major floods in Penang last weekend was a natural disaster. Pic by NSTP/DANIAL SAAD

GEORGE TOWN: Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has made it clear that the major floods in Penang last weekend was a natural disaster.

Responding to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s reminder to avoid developments that could negatively impact the environment, Lim said the recent floods were not caused by hillside development.

“He (Najib) was just making a remark. The disaster has nothing to do with hillside developments. This is a natural disaster.

“But we are willing to review... we are willing to listen,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the state legislative assembly sitting here, today.

During a visit to flood victims in Tasek Gelugor on Tuesday, Najib cautioned the Penang government against undertaking or approving development projects that could affect the environment.

Najib had said such projects would only aggravate the flooding situation in Penang in the future, and that all development projects would have an effect on the environment.

He had also said all development projects should strictly abide by existing guidelines and conditions.

Earlier, Datuk Roslan Saidin (BN-Pinang Tunggal) showed to the press pictures of Lim greeting Najib and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

During the debate session in the afternoon, Datuk Mahmud Zakaria (BN-Sungai Acheh) showed to the assembly pictures of Lim embracing Zahid.

“Just look at how he (Lim) hugged our deputy prime minister so tightly.

“What is more surprising is how he shook (Datin Seri) Rosmah Mansor’s hands. Remember how Lim reacted to them in the past? This is definitely a lesson for him,” he added.

Lim, in response, said he does not mind being laughed at as long as they were not laughing at the flood victims.

A 17-hour storm on Saturday had paralysed the island state, triggering a mega flood, landslides and uprooted trees.

Thousand were displaced and seven deaths were reported.

The Penang government said it believed the extraordinary storm was a side effect of Typhoon Damrey that hit Vietnam.