Malaysia: Errant factories polluting rivers to be placed on registry

ADRIAN LAI New Straits Times 19 Oct 16;

KUALA LUMPUR: Errant factories operating along the country’s riverbanks will be placed on a registry before strict action is taken against them, said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

He said that following the recent contamination of Sungai Semantan and Sungai Semenyih by an illegal factory, stricter measures need to be taken to ensure similar incidents did not happen in the future.

“I have called for a meeting with the Majlis Alam Sekitar Negara and during this meeting, I will list down factories operating at riverbanks that are polluting our rivers.

“With the council’s agreement, I have the power to direct these premises to be placed on a register.

Once that happens, we can take action against them and stop their operations,” he told reporters outside the Parliament lobby here today.

Wan Junaidi said he had previously instructed the state governments to relocate the errant factories, but admitted that “drastic action” needed to be taken to prevent further contaminations.

“The Department of Environment has the power to take action against these factories and premises,” he said, adding that the meeting will take place on Oct 24.

Three factories operating along Sungai Semantan in Pahang had been identified as being the possible source of the pollution that had forced the closure of the Semenyih water treatment plant earlier this month.

The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry had identified the factories, and Wan Junaidi had said the odour could have come from various chemicals.

Following the finding, the Department of Environment was instructed to investigate and identify the specific factories causing the pollution.

All three factories were operating on riverine reserved land, including at water catchment areas.

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