KOTA KINABALU - Workers' quarters built near drains, storm drains converted for fish breeding and clogged drains were among the reasons for the flash floods that hit the state capital.
State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said this when commenting on the recent floods in urban and suburban areas in Penampang, Putatan and here, following Sunday's downpour.
"I hope the floods serve as an eye-opener for all of us.
"I was informed that a house owner here had closed a section of the drain at the housing estate to breed fish.
"Other residents had to clear the drain for the water to flow out.
"Imagine how irresponsible this act was as it caused flooding and the whole neighbourhood was affected," he said while standing in for Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman to open the state-level Information Technology and Communication (ICT) Seminar at Universiti Malaysia Sabah here, yesterday.
Masidi said Kota Kinabalu City Hall, as well as the district offices of Penampang and Putatan also needed to vet contractors who built quarters for their workers next to drains.
He said it was common practice for contractors to put their workers near a site where effluent could be easily channelled to the drains.
Masidi also said the state government was serious about handling the issue of polluted rivers and had formed an inter-ministry committee to address the issue.
Sungai Darau, Sungai Inanam and Sungai Likas, which flow through the city, are badly clogged with rubbish.