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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Respect legislators, Penang speaker tells govt dept directors

Penang assembly speaker Law Choo Kiang (in black coat).
GEORGE TOWN: Penang assembly speaker Law Choo Kiang today told state and federal department directors not to look down on the state’s legislators who came to them for help, following claims that a director of a government department had given the cold shoulder to an assemblyman trying to solve a flash flood problem.
He said the executive branch must understand that legislators or assemblymen in the state played an important role in getting the people’s needs attended to.
Law said department directors and those holding high-level posts must work hand-in-hand with their local elected representatives in better serving the people
“I want to remind the executive, please do not look down on the legislators. They are trying their best to get their matters resolved, respect my legislators,” he said in a rare comment at the state assembly today.
Law was responding to Ong Ah Teong (DAP-Batu Lanchang) who claimed that a director of the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) had refused to utter “even a word” in real life and through WhatsApp chats.
Ong said this was during a discussion on a “failed” drainage project by the DID at Solok Perak in Jelutong, which led to five instances of flash floods as high as 1metre since January.
He said during meetings, the DID director was cold and uncooperative and refused to do anything.
Later, Ong told reporters that the flooding had badly affected his constituents in the Jalan Van Praagh and Jalan Sir Ibrahim area, saying the failed drainage project had caused backflow of rainwater to these areas.
“This project has caused a lot of hardship to my constituents. They have never had floods before. It was only after this drain was ‘upgraded’.
“It is a major fault in the drain that has caused this. When we raised this in the meeting, the DID director refused to say anything. Even on WhatsApp, with the executive councillor on board, nothing is being uttered.”
FMT has contacted Penang Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari for comment. - FMT


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