BEAUFORT (Bernama) – Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today approved Sabah’s proposal to build a multi-purpose hall which can double as an evacuation centre in case of a flood in Beaufort.
He said district officer Mohd Shahid Othman informed him that there was land available for that purpose and that the cost of the project and date of construction would be planned out.
“Suggestions to build permanent (evacuation) centres have been mooted by many saying that if an area is prone to floods and it (flood) is repeated (frequent) in some areas like in Beaufort, which experiences flood three or four times a year, one (the centre) could be bigger than the others.
“But it (multipurpose hall) is not just for Beaufort. We have to study this proposal carefully for the whole country,” he told reporters after visiting the Membakut Multi-purpose Hall used as a flood evacuation centre at Membakut, near here.
Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said such a proposal needed to be studied so that the halls could be used efficiently and not just built only when flood occurred.
He noted other facilities such as school halls could still serve as evacuation centres.
Another suggestion to address the flood situation was to relocate flood-prone villages to higher grounds, he said.
“However, this is subject to the availability of the state government’s land in order to do that,” he said.
On suggestions to deepen rivers in flood-prone areas, Muhyiddin said the matter would be considered as it involved large allocations to do so.
“For any form of flood mitigation programme, state governments can submit a proposal (to Federal cabinet) and we will scrutinise it as it involves a lot of money,” he said.