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Yong: Water supply disruptions not due to dry weather but incompetence

26th March, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: Former Chief Minister of Sabah Datuk Yong Teck Lee has accused the state Infrastructure Development Minister of using the current dry spell to justify the government’s controversial decision to build a mega dam at Kaiduan in Penampang/Papar.

“But at the same time, the Water Department has cancelled the water dam projects at Tawau and Lahad Datu, on the first day that the Water Department director took office. The minister has to explain such consistencies in decision making,” he said in a statement issued here on Monday.

He also dismissed the Minister’s statement claiming that the water supply disruptions in some parts of Sabah were due to the current dry season.

“I remind the Minister that many officials, including the Water Director and assemblymen, have publicly stated that the water levels at dams and rivers can last another two to three months,” he reminded.

Yong who is also the president of Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) added that the Federal Minister for Water, Xavier Jayakumar, on Sunday listed six states as having water supply problems due to dry weather; namely, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Kedah, Pahang and Kelantan but not Sabah.

“The current dry spell is nothing out of the ordinary that the Water Department is not equipped to handle as part of its contingency plans. It is unlike the El Nino weather of 1997 when there was no rain for three consecutive months, leading to severe water shortages, peat fires and forest fires and haze. That was the last time that we had cloud seeding in Sabah,” Yong pointed out.

He also took a good swipe at the other funny actions of the Water Department – that is the compulsory competency test for plumbers starting this year 2019.

“The medical test required for plumbers is as tough as that for non-commercial airplane pilots! An example of many medical conditions is that, a plumber must not have difficulties seeing in the dark.

“This means that a plumber must have the eyesight of a night owl. Further, a plumber must not have had problems with alcohol in the last FIVE years. What is the rationale for imposing such medical conditions on plumbers?” Yong inquired.

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