Current Affairs, Featured

What is the Minister of Environment and Water doing about Selangor’s constant water disruptions?

Press Statement
11th November 2020

In the Dewan Negeri Selangor sitting this morning, I raised a question regarding the river contamination which occurred yesterday, causing yet another water supply disruption to the citizens in Selangor. Specifically, my question was – Who is responsible?

According to Selangor State EXCO for Environment, Green Technology and Consumer Affairs, Science, Technology and Innovation, YB Hee Loy Sian, the source of the contamination was from a private property in Taman Velox. The premise, which was a mere 700 metres from Sg. Gong has been doing scheduled waste disposal of chemical waste into the toilet which then flows into IWK’s sewage treatment plant.

IWK Taman Velox had detected red-coloured waste in their plant on 4th November 2020 and even reported the incident to SPAN. IWK also ceased output of their treatment plant. IWK has also insisted that they are not at fault and are victims in this matter.

Four people have been arrested today for this. However –

My issue with the above clarification from IWK is the following which I also highlighted in a PC with Air Selangor CEO, En Suhaimi Kamaralzaman, earlier this afternoon.

1. The water supply disruption in Selangor is happening too frequently. We’re not even over the last water disruption last month where our people had to suffer for almost 4 days without water. And more often than not, the cause is illegal dumping of chemical waste. IWK itself has been involved in four of these cases this year – two di IWK Semenyih, one di Batang Kali, and now in IWK Taman Velox.

2. This time the chemical waste was detected on 4th November – almost a week ago. The plant was shut down, but the contaminant was not pumped out or treated by IWK or SPAN. The issue was not dealt with nor resolved. Even after one week, the water was still red yesterday. This is completely unacceptable. Not only that, they kept it quiet from LUAS, Air Selangor and the Selangor State Government, who could have stepped in to resolve the issue.

3. I call for The Minister of Environment and Water, Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, to seriously look into this matter and take swift action against the perpetrators involved. The Minister needs to provide answers as to why illegal dumping of chemical waste is so prevalent under his watch. The agencies under him such as SPAN, IWK and DOE, need to answer where the oversight and lax in enforcement is for this repeated offense which causes unnecessary suffering to the people in Selangor. We are already battling a pandemic and dealing with CMCO. We do not need the extra stress of having to deal with no water.

4. I call for stricter action to be taken against these offenders – not just the low-level workers who were caught at the premises today, but also their bosses and their bosses’ bosses. We need to find the companies and factories that actually produce the chemical waste and chose not to dispose of it legally and properly. We need to find the unauthorised contractors that were engaged to dispose of these chemical wastes illegally. These unscrupulous people who have caused four to five million citizens to suffer for their personal gains need to face befitting consequences for their actions.

5. I also call for better response when dealing with water disruption in Selangor. More water tanks and reservoirs need to be set up so that should a water disruption happen for any reason, we are better prepared.

Rajiv Rishyakaran
ADUN for Bukit Gasing

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