How much would it cost Malaysia to bring the annual/periodical/seasonal flooding problems under control for the next 78 years (until the year 2100)? That’ll be RM392 billion, please.
That figure, widely rounded by the press to RM400 billion, is what was quoted as an estimate by the Environment and Water Ministry, delivered by its Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.
RM400 Billion to solve flooding problem needed until 2100
According to him, the government has been making serious efforts in curbing the floods caused by erratic weather patterns as a result of climate change through large investments in the country’s water sector.
This included, he added, an ‘off budget’ allocation of RM15 billion for a period of 8 years between 2023 and 2030 to tackle flood mitigation projects such as the construction of sabo structures in critical flood-prone areas impacted by the North East Monsoon.
However, that amounts to around RM2.142 billion each year which, when extrapolated to the year 2100, should result in a figure closer to RM167 billion if the measures and spending stay consistent. This is far lower than the Minister’s quoted number of RM392 billion.
To this, Ibrahim said during the 2022 Climate Change Symposium on Monday: “This cost estimate, among others, includes the main components of flood mitigation and urban drainage amounting to RM230.71bil and coastal infrastructure amounting to RM126.55bil.”
He added that mid and long term measures were being prioritised by the government for infrastructure protection to ensure the wellbeing of the people, particularly those living in areas prone to water-related disasters.
“The Ministry is also drafting details for the implementation of climate change adaptation. The rise in global temperature will further increase the risk of disasters and the direct impact on the well-being of people and the economy.
National Water Sector Transformation Agenda 2040 developed to combat climate change
“In this regard, the government has developed the National Water Sector Transformation Agenda 2040 starting with the 12th Malaysia Plan up to the 15th Malaysia Plan,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun stressed the important role every member of parliament has to play in flood issues by creating awareness of climate-related issues such as flooding in their constituencies.
“MPs can play a role by getting involved in civil society organisations, including those related to climate change, sustainable development, humanitarian aid and disasters, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and youth groups.
“Members of Parliament in civil society will be able to contribute their experience and guidance in providing assistance to local communities affected by disasters,” he said.