The Kedah government wants an investigation to be conducted over the faulty opening of a control gate at Ampang Jajar Sungai Muda last Saturday, causing a sudden drop in the water level of Sungai Muda.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said if necessary, an investigation committee should be set up by the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change (NRECC) and the results of the investigation to be disclosed to the public.

“Action should be taken against parties responsible, particularly those on duty at that time because, at 10 pm (Saturday), Sada (Syarikat Air Darul Aman Sdn Bhd) informed PLSM in a Whatsapp group consisting of agencies managing river level and barrage gate that the Sungai Muda water level was dropping.

“At midnight, Sada again alerted them that the river water level was dropping, but it was only at 7 am the next day did they shut down the gate manually,” he said at a press conference at Wisma Darul Aman here today.

The Ampang Jajar Sungai Muda has 14 control gates that will be opened and closed as needed to control the release of water for flood control and tidal operations and according to Muhammad Sanusi, seven of them were dysfunctional.

However, he said, it did not affect the water level of the river as the dysfunctional gates were closed as there were still seven operating, adding that the gate that opened without warning last Saturday was due to a technical malfunction in the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system.

“I understand that RM8.5 million has been allocated for the replacement of a new machine to control the gate,” he added.

Meanwhile, Kedah UMNO Information head Datuk Shaiful Hazizy Zainol Abidin also called for the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) to investigate the incident, which he believed was due to human negligence.

He said the incident also proved that the state and the federal governments needed to have a good relationship.

“It also proved that the state government is not capable of solving problems in silo or alone,” he said in a statement today.

According to the NRECC in a statement yesterday, the control gate opened without warning last Satirday, causing the water in Sungai Muda to recede to 0.67 metres from 1.85 metres and the PLSM took immediate action to close the gate manually at 7.30 am the following day.

On Sunday, Bernama reported that about 252,000 user accounts in three districts namely Kuala Muda, Kulim and parts of Baling were affected by unscheduled water supply disruption due to the sudden drop in the Sungai Muda water level.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency