PM wants universities to carry out in depth study on flood issues


KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today called on all universities to carry out in-depth study to find best solutions to massive floods which recently hit several states in the country.

He said among the matters that were discussed during the recent Cabinet meeting were flood issues and the need to seek ideas and input from the experts in irrigation management, environment and other relevant aspects.

“I want all local universities to give their input to the government in formulating and finding the best suitable method to solve the current flood issues and to make early preparation for the future.”

Najib said this when launching Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s (UTM) Menara Razak building and the book on UTM’s development under the 9th Malaysia Plan (9MP) here Thursday.

Also present were Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh, Education Ministry’s secretary-general II Prof Datuk Dr Zaini Ujang and UTM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Wahid Omar.

Najib said controlled and sustainable development should be implemented, cutting of trees, as well as clearing of forests for agriculture purposes should be closely monitored, while firm enforcement should be carried out, in a bid to preserve the environment.

He said this was because environmental destruction was among the factors that contributed to flooding and enforcement authorities should take stern action against those destructors to ensure that floods and landslides would not recur.

“For example, we can control floods by building dams to control the irrigation system, while generating electricity,” he said.

Meanwhile, Najib also expressed gratitude to UTM for naming the building after his late father, Tun Abdul Razak, who was the second Prime Minister of Malaysia and who had also served as Education Minister.

The construction of the RM91 million building began on March 3, 2009 and was fully completed in September 2012. The 17-storey building was part of UTM’s development under the 9MP.

“The late Tun Razak had known the first UTM vice-chancellor, the late Tan Sri Ainuddin Wahid, ever since the latter came to welcome the return of Tun Razak and the rest of the first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman’s independence mission team from London, United Kingdom in 1950s,” he said.

UTM had been developing well and succeeded in meeting the objectives and aspirations of its establishment, besides being the proud of the nation and one of the world’s best universities, he added.