GEORGE TOWN, April 15 — The Penang state government will conduct cloud seeding operations in the northern region with the assistance of the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MET Malaysia), Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said today.
He said the state government is committed to starting cloud seeding to replenish depleting water levels in Penang and Kedah’s six dams even if the state has to fully fund the operations.
“MET Malaysia normally uses the dry seeding method to conduct cloud seeding at the dams and it was stated that the state government has to bear the costs of the operations for the rental of aeroplanes and hygroscopic flare in the operations while MET Malaysia will provide technical assistance,” he said in his daily message on Facebook today.
The Penang state government wrote to MET Malaysia and the Water and Environment Ministry on March 5 and April 10 to request that cloud seeding be conducted in Penang and Kedah due to dwindling water levels.
Chow said MET Malaysia’s reply in a letter dated April 14, which the state government received today, stated that the department is ready to cooperate to conduct cloud seeding in the northern region as long as the atmosphere is suitable.
“For the sake of 3.92 million people in Penang and Kedah who need constant water supply to maintain personal hygiene, Penang is committed to fund the cloud seeding efforts and hopes that this can be undertaken immediately for the sake of the people,” he said.
The Penang lawmaker said the Penang state government is now preparing to face a new reality once the movement control order (MCO) is lifted.
“We are coming up with a Penang Next Normal Strategy to strengthen the state’s ecosystem, to alighn the state’s ecosystem in accordance with the changes in the 21st century and to build resilience to face any crisis in future,” he said.
Chow said even if the Covid-19 pandemic were to end, the world will see great changes and face a new normal, such as how people interact and how businesses are conducted, which is why Penang needs to be prepared.
He said Penang’s strategies will see changes in the state’s institutions, economy and social situation.
“We can see examples of the move in changing how things are conducted such as the launch of e-business portals by both city councils through the Jom Beli Online and eBazar Ramadan,” he said.
Chow added that this Saturday, the Penang Youth Development Corporation (PYDC) will be organising an esports competition called the “Stay Home League”.
“Next week, Digital Penang will be organising a virtual round table titled PLC19 eCrowdSource: Hacking the Next Normal to discuss technological solutions to face the new challenges of today,” he said.
He said Penang will be able to overcome this crisis and continue to move forward successfully if everyone worked together to embrace the “next normal”.