Malaysia: Najib pledges to address problem of uncontrolled river pollution

New Straits Times 19 Feb 17;

KUALA LUMPUR: With uncontrolled pollution starting to affect rivers in the country, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today pledged look into the matter as soon as possible.

He cited an example of the polluted river near Masjid Jamek in Kuala Lumpur, which he said is has proven to be an inconvenience to those walking around the area.

Masjid Jamek is one of the oldest mosques in Kuala Lumpur. It is located at the confluence of the Klang and Gombak River and may be accessed via Jalan Tun Perak.

“Masjid Jamek Kuala Lumpur stood majestically in the middle of the hustle and bustle of city life. Not only is it among the oldest mosques in the country, it also holds the unique point of confluence of the Klang and Gombak rivers.

“However, uncontrolled pollution has affected our rivers and development has also reduced the attractiveness of the surrounding area, to the point that there are reports saying that it’s not suitable (for people) to walk along the river bank,” he said in a Facebook post today.

The prime minister also pointed out that cities in other developed countries such as New York, Paris and South Korea do not neglect their rivers.

He said rivers or coastal areas in these countries are spots where festive celebrations would be held, apart from being tourists attractions.

“Various initiatives have been implemented and more effort should be done to restore our pride.

“God willing, I will look into this matter in the near future,” Najib added.

The Masjid Jamek is also known as the Friday Mosque. It was designed by Arthur Benison Hubback and built in 1907.

It was officially opened by the Sultan of Selangor in 1909.

Besides being the oldest one in the city, Masjid Jamek was also built on the first Malay burial ground in the city.

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