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Water dams, flood mitigation could be scams to fill pockets of cronies, says activist

Daniel John Jambun, 2-6-2023
ANYONE who examines the proposed water dam and flood mitigation projects in Sabah will find that these may be scams designed for filling the pockets of some people. This reminds us of two gas projects in Sabah where money was taken by two companies from China and no work was done.
                  Activist Daniel John Jambun

During Najib's time, according to media reports, RM400m was released for flood mitigation in Penampang, in the outskirts of Kota Kinabalu.

According to the locals, no work was done in the district but money was allegedly paid out. Flood mitigation includes work on improving drainage and new outlets and dredging and clearing the river.

When the floods returned the next year, worse than ever, those who allegedly took the RM400m claimed that actually RM2b was needed for flood mitigation in Penampang alone. No gov't in the world can afford paying out such huge allocations for work which isn't done.

The Babagon water dam, a white elephant, is one of the reasons for flash floods in Penampang.

When the dam is full during the heavier than usual rains, the water is released into the river which quickly overflows and causes flash floods. In Kerala for example, during heavy rains recently, 40 dams on 40 rivers caused the great floods. Kerala is a wet state.

Contrary to public perceptions, water dams don't supply water to water treatment plants. The plants take water directly from the river through inlet pipes.

During the dry season, the water dam would release water directly into the low lying river, just above the inlet pipes.

In Sabah, there are no dry seasons. The rivers are always full. So, water dams are redundant, especially since they don't produce even a small amount of electricity for the local area.

The current water shortage in Sabah may have been artificially manufactured by those pushing for the proposed multibillion ringgit water dam in either Kaiduan or Papar. 

Those who have been following the Sabah Water Dept case in court should know what's happening with gov't money.

According to the contractor in court, the entire dept was on the take. A certain percentage of the contract sum was distributed to Water Dept staff, from top to bottom, according to a formula. Pairin was mentioned in court as one of those on the take for many years. The judge pretended not to hear.

A witness in court, also on the take, has been appointed as the new Director of the Water Dept.

Having said that, water shortages can only happen if the water treatment plants are insufficient, or the piping was too old and bursts and leaks all the time, or the river water has been chemically contaminated.

River water, if chemically contaminated, kills the fish kept in acquariums at the water treatment plant/s. The water cannot be treated. It's released into the river and flows to the sea.

In the Bangsar area in KL for example, the frequent water shortages are due to the pipes leaking and bursting all over the place. If one area is fixed, another area will experience leaks. Insiders say no money is spent on new piping.

The water treatment plants don't pump out kopi susu water. If the water is kopi susu, it means that the piping has burst or is leaking, drawing in mud, dirt and bacteria or the water tank at the rooftop has not been cleaned for years or the huge water tanks in residential areas need good scrubbing.

Water also becomes kopi susu when turned on after interruption in supplies for even a few hours. The pressure is low because of air blockage. The red pipe below the wash basin, if opened, releases the air block and the water will rush out. Call the plumber to avoid injuries.

Indeed, conning the federal treasury has become the biggest business in Malaysia. 

Just read what Judge Sultan Abu Backer wrote about bogus contracts. He was suspended and retired. His allegations were never investigated. His Affidavit in Support was removed from a Ruling and court records.

The solar power project, purportedly in S'wak for rural schools, does not exist based on a media statement by the S'wak gov't. Yet the case was heard by the High Court.

In law, the court first looks at whether a contract exists. If there's no contract, the court will throw out the case.

If the contract is fraudulent, the court will also throw out the case.

The IGP and AG would have to address the fraud separately. It isn't about bribery and corruption but cheating the gov't or among the parties in dispute.

Daniel John Jambun is President of Borneo's Plight in Malaysia Foundation (BoPiMaFo)

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