The Penang state government has been urged to review the standard operating procedure and techniques employed for road resurfacing in the state. The call was made by DAP assemblyman for Batu Lancang, Ong Ah Teong, at the state legislative assembly sitting, Bernama reports.

He said that the current technique used was simply to resurface the road with a new six-centimetre layer of tar, a move that only treats the surface of the road. “I am afraid that after being re-tarred several times, the road will become thicker. If a road is re-tarred six centimetres every five years, in 50 years it will be 60 cm – or about two feet – thick, about 10 times the original thickness,” he said.

He said that a better method to employ was the ‘milling’ technique, which could support the dispersion of 15,816,000 litres of rainwater. With the current road re-surfacing method, that rainwater will run-off to lower areas.

He added that concrete road dividers also contributed to floods, as the rainwater could not be absorbed, and stated that if the situation continues, Penang will face the risk of major floods in the coming 50 years.

Ong also pointed out the the quality of material used to surface roads in the state was lower than those in other countries like Singapore, South Korea, Japan and China, which had sturdier roads. Comparatively, each time heavy rain falls, tarred roads in Penang end up with puddles and holes, he said.

“We also have roads in Penang full of patchwork and puddles. This projects a backward image, especially with the constant digging and patching of roads which affect the surfaces,” he said.