Guan Eng's feud with Met dept continues to simmer (Updated)

GEORGE TOWN: The open-ended dispute between the Meteorological Services Department and Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng continued today, with the latest tiff being over the highest recorded rainfall figure in Penang.

Meteorological Services Department director-general Alui Bahari had reportedly said that the highest rainfall recorded in Penang was in 1995.

This contrasted with the state's previous revelation that the Nov 5 mammoth flooding was triggered by the highest rainfall of 372mm. This figure, according to the state, was higher than the 270mm recorded following a 20-hour downpour which caused the Sept 15, 1995 floods.

But Alui retorted in an interview, saying the rainfall recorded in 1995 was the highest. Lim took exception to the remark, showing the data from the Penang Water Authority which had recorded a figure of 372mm after 16 hours of torrential rains on Nov 5.

This was the main contributing factor to the landslides and flooding which inundated about 80% of Penang, Lim said.

The dispute with the meteorological authority began following the massive floods on Nov 5, with Lim first accusing it of issuing the severe warning late. Alui retorted by saying the warnings were first issued on Nov 1.

Lim also proposed the need for Penang to come up with its own early weather warning system to serve as an alternative to the national meteorological data.

He said this recently, after overseeing the one-off state compensation payout to 1,381 victims of the Sept 15 floods at Komtar.

Each recipient received RM400 from the state to compensate for the loss of household appliances and hardship suffered.

"We are grateful that the federal government came to our aid in our time of need. What we are appealing now is for it to extend relief aid to the hundreds of victims."