GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Budget for 2017 is set to address flooding issues faced by the state as evident in flash floods in recent weeks. Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (pix) said the "vicious" flash floods was caused by climate change. The DAP secretary general described the scenario as a "new challenge" due to unusual heavy rainfall. He also admitted to the failure of the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) in carrying out some flood mitigation projects but did not elaborate. "This will be addressed during the 2017 Budget, especially on the need to press the Federal Government to complete the final phase of the RM350 million Sungai Pinang Flood Mitigation project. "The first and second phase is done, we hope the Federal Government can finish the third phase. If completed, the issue of flash floods can be resolved," he said in his speech at the Penang DAP Convention today. The Penang Budget 2017 is to be tabled at the Penang Legislative Assembly session beginning Nov 15. Last week, several areas in Air Itam, Bandar Baru Air Itam, Batu Maung, Jalan Masjid Negri and parts of George Town suffered severe flash floods during heavy rain resulting in the state government being severely criticised. Critics have blamed over-development for the cause and urged better drainage systems be built. Lim also defended the economic performance of his government which has been criticised by Barisan Nasional (BN). Among the success he listed included reducing the state debt by 90% which stands at RM69 million by 2015, recording annual budget surpluses since 2008 totalling RM574million by 2015 and doubling the state reserve to RM1.6 billion from RM850 million in the eight-year period. "Our vision is to transform Penang into both an entrepreneurial and welfare state by investing in infrastructure to overcome the triple challenges of traffic congestion, affordable housing and flash floods," he said.