- Tuan Chow Kon Yeow, the 5th Chief Minister of Penang, officially opened the Expanded Mengkuang Dam (EMD) with an upgraded effective capacity of 86.4 billion litres. PBAPP supported the Penang State Government’s decision to officially take back the EMD from the Federal Government in October 2020, although the following two phases of the MDEP have not been completed:
- Phase 2B: Laying of 7.0km of a 1.6m diameter raw water pipeline from the Mak Sulong Pumping Station to the Sungai Dua WTP to upgrade raw water draw down capacity from 300 MLD to 600 MLD.
- Phase 2C: Construction of the 440 MLD Lahar Yooi Pumping Station to enable the pumping of additional raw water from Sungai Muda during wet seasons.
- For strategic reasons, it is more prudent for Penang to have the EMD’s raw water reserves on hand in 2021, to mitigate the twin threats of climate change and the on-going Covid-19 global pandemic.
- The Penang State Government and PBAPP have proposed for the Federal Government to set up an independent Ulu Muda Basin Authority (UMBA) to protect, manage and conserve the Ulu Muda Basin sustainably for the benefit of 4.2 million people and all the businesses in Perlis, Kedah and Penang that contributed an estimated RM147.8 billion to the national GDP in 2019.
- The UMBA’s role would be to manage Ulu Muda and Sungai Muda holistically, sustainably and equitably as key components of a protected NCER water basin. PBAPP has suggested for the UMBA to be modelled after the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA), a federal statutory body which is managing the Murray-Darling Basin in Australia as one water resource for 5 Australian states: Queensland, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Victoria and South Australia.