Rising waters — and tempers

A view of the flooded interior of a house at Taman Murni.

Petra Jaya’s Taman Murni folk fed up with flood inaction by authorities

BY SUFIAN MOHIDIN

KUCHING: With multiple areas and homes across the state affected by the king tide coupled with nonstop heavy rain, the misperception about flash floods continues to delay the immediate action to prevent such incidents from happening in the first place.

Flash floods are usually associated with thunderstorms and heavy rains. However, these were not the causes of floods at Taman Murni, Petra Jaya here for the past 30 years.

During the start and end of every year, Taman Murni folk would prepare for the possibility of floods due to the clogged drainage system, with water rising after only three hours of rain.

“I’ve approached various parties and agencies for help in solving this issue.

The entrance to Taman Murni where the manhole is located and the epicentre of the floods.

“In the last meeting I had with a wakil rakyat in 2019, he mentioned that the drainage issue would be looked into by the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID), which Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) was originally responsible for,” said former Surau Al-Taqwa chairman Sharkawi Ramli, whose house is among the first to be inundated by floodwaters every year.

“Today, it’s still the same story, namely a simple and small drainage problem that cannot be solved, and on behalf of the people here, I feel that it’s fair to request that the state government take this matter seriously as it has badly affected us all.”

Sharing an incident that occurred last week, a single mother, who had to look after her octogenarian parents, expressed how disappointed she was over the lack of help after so many years.

“The latest construction in front belongs to a YB (yang berhormat) while in the same neighbourhood, there is another YB whose house and even our state mufti’s nearby, are of course not affected.

“All these people and other residents living here who are permanent secretaries to ministries and directors of Sarawak’s top companies have done nothing nor did they even bother to check on the houses that are always flooded whenever the monsoon comes,” said the widow, who wanted to be identified only as Unggal.

Another resident who is fed up with the status quo, lost his car, motorcycle and home appliances in the recent flood.

“We don’t want to demand or request for any charity or donation from them, but at least acknowledge that this is an ongoing problem, and buck up.

“Get this problem solved and doesn’t only take action when something bad happens. More importantly, don’t wait for next year,” fumed a civil servant, who wished to be identified as Bob.

He said the problem could have been solved back in 1998 but was neglected, adding: “We have experienced more than 10 floods in our lifetime yet still not even a single officer from the council or state government has come to help.”

“We are very disappointed with the executives of the government.”