• “This is a huge amount and there should be no direct negotiations, not for individuals or politicians who have an interest in a particular company."

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 10): Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said there will be no direct negotiations with any party in the implementation of the long-term flood mitigation plan until the year 2100.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Chairman of the Central Disaster Management Committee, said the implementation of the plan, involving a projected expenditure of almost RM297 billion, must be given to a company that is qualified and capable of implementing it.

“This is a huge amount and there should be no direct negotiations, not for individuals or politicians who have an interest in a particular company," he said when appearing as a guest on RTM’s “Naratif Khas with the deputy prime minister” programme on Monday (Jan 9) night.

Ahmad Zahid said he was not implicating any parties in the matter but stressed that the problems of the people who often face floods and other disasters in this country need to be solved.

“(Similarly,) the issue of landslides and coastal, hillside and mountain erosion. There is also the problem of clearings in rain catchment areas and areas that should not be targeted for development — these should be resolved.

“...including (the issue of) global warming when the ozone is getting thinner and the heat is excessive. This should be overcome; climate and environmental issues must also be taken into account in issues involving national disasters,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid said the long-term plan that certain agencies and departments have come up with also includes a flood mitigation plan on the East Coast or urban locations where flooding should not occur.

“That’s called flood management... this means that immediate steps need to be taken including having smart cities and smart tunnels like the one in Kuala Lumpur,” he said 

On Dec 15, Ahmad Zahid said the government will continue to implement flood mitigation projects in stages to deal with floods in the country until the year 2100.

On the issue of cost of living, Ahmad Zahid, who chairs the Cost of Living Implementation and Monitoring Committee, said the government has outlined three priorities for the people, namely food on the table, money in the pocket, and shelter on their heads.

“What the government is looking at is not only the question of electricity tariffs as an important element and also not only about the price of eggs, chicken, fish and vegetables. We must not look at subsidies as the only solution but we must also look at targeted subsidies.

“It is also necessary to look at how production costs can be reduced, how electricity tariffs can be set in a targeted manner,” he said, while also stressing that there must be continuous efforts to ensure that the income gap does not get too wide to the point of being detrimental to the people’s wellbeing. 

  1. Beef up protection of environmentally sensitive areas to prevent deadly landslides – experts
  2. Floods: Assessment of damaged houses to be conducted thoroughly, says Zahid
  3. Another RM21.1m allocated to fix slope damage in Batang Kali landslide site