Friday, 8 August 2008
The BN federal government’s decision to suspend the RM1 billion allocation for the expansion of the Mengkuang Dam in Permatang Pauh will cause critical water shortage for Penang’s increasing population in four years time.As such, the expansion of the dam must be implemented by early of next year and completed by year 2012 to ensure Penang has enough raw water to cater the increasing water demand till 2024.In this case, the BN federal government’s decision to suspend the RM1 billion allocation is questionable because they should know that Penang is seeing an average population growth rate of 2.86% annually.
The BN has not been responsible to the people at all and such action cannot be accepted be it whatsoever reasons. Was it because this area is a PKR stronghold and PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is making a comeback soon? If so, the suspension of the allocation has been a political motive all the while, aimed to punish our Penangites for voting the Pakatan Rakyat into governing Penang.The BN must also remember that the allocation was originally confirmed under the Eight Malaysian Plan and brought over to the Ninth Malaysian Plan which was to be fully financed by the federal government.
The Mengkuang Dam is the single most important strategic water reserve in Penang because it stores water from the Sungai Muda from which the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) extracts about 80 percent of its daily water.Penang’s population has been increasing from 1.23 million people in 1998 to 1.52 million people at the end of year 2007 and is expected to touch 2.06 million people by the year 2020. The current storage capacity is 23.6 billion liters and the expansion aims to increase the capacity to 86.4 billion liters.Besides, the expansion could also help to mitigate floods as there is a system to channel excess water from several areas in Seberang Perai to the dam.
So, is the BN taking the good away from the people to avenge their 8 March defeat? Come on, the people of Penang are taxpayers too and they have their rights. The BN cannot just take away the people’s right because of politics. Why politicize the water, facilities and development for revenge?