Within 9 months after the 2008 General Elections, YB Ng Wei Aik put up a banner claiming that they have solved the flood problem of Penang.
Fast forward 9 years later, it is proven that it was not solved yet. Penangites have experienced so many times of flood disasters that probably many would have lost count.
Last weekend was another occurrence of flood that has caused massive problems including loss of belongings and traffic jams. By now, many would have aware that there are ‘new flood areas’, which are places that was never flooded before.
The water that floods Penang is murky and brown in colour. I don’t think that the rain water is naturally brown in colour. And I don’t believe that the dirt on the road and the garbage has caused the water to turn into brown colour either.
Logically, I think it is fair to assume that the colour of the water is caused by red soil. In Penang, there are few places that we can find obvious red soil; the deforested hills and areas with new developments.
I wouldn’t come to a conclusion that deforested hills and over-developments are the only causes of floods; but it could be one of the few main reasons other than poor drainage and flood mitigation systems.
Despite 9 years of DAP taking over the state government as well as the local government, it is to my bewilderment that there are still people who compares the flood situation with during the BN-led era and ‘rationalize’ that the current government can be excused for the flood that has happened.
I was terribly shocked with the reasoning of this group of people for blaming the then BN-led government. If we keep on looking backwards to justify that the current DAP-government can be forgiven for their errors, then we will not be able to look forward and solve the problem of the present.
If I were to answer whether the flood is worse during the BN-led era, I wouldn’t have an accurate answer to it and I don’t think we should even waste time comparing it. What the Penangites need now is to look at the existing problem and solve it. Even if the problem is not as bad as previously, it is still a problem.
We shouldn’t be giving an excuse to a government to avoid their responsibility to solve issues that arises. We cannot afford to wait until the matters grow into the worst situation ever, then only to start to take it into consideration. In fact, we should prevent it at the first place.
The new generation of politicians must not play the blame game. To move forward, we must own our responsibility and do not politicise matters that needs to be solved immediately.
Comparison of who did worst is not a wise way to make a judgement whether a government is good or bad. We have to be really worried if there are people making such justifications. Because by doing that, we are only choosing the better devil out of devils. We are still choosing a devil, in that sense. We must be choosing who the better angel is instead!
This article has been published in Mandarin in Kwong Wah Yit Poh dated 7th April 2017.