Factories in Klang industrial belt to continue operations

  • Business
  • Friday, 12 Aug 2005

As the haze thickened in Port Klang, which has been declared a haze emergency area, factories in the industrial belt of Klang are expected to remain in production as it has not come under an emergency yet. 

This is vital for the Kapar area of Klang where the large glove factories of Top Glove Corp Bhd and Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd are located. They are expected to keep their plants running unless the haze emergency is extended to Klang. 

For the time being, they may not be able to export their output through Port Klang which is closed till the haze lifts. Manufacturers may have to ship their products through the ports in Johor or Penang, or even Singapore. 

The factory of Supermax Corp Bhd, another large rubber glove maker, is not close to the area under emergency as it is in Sungei Buloh, Selangor. 

The Government declared yesterday haze emergency in Port Klang and Kuala Selangor. All workplaces in these two areas are to be closed, except for essential services and supermarkets. 

It is a relief for companies in Kapar that it is not covered by the emergency. “We can't afford to close the factory,” said an official at a company there. In the meantime, the company has distributed breathing masks to its workers. 

There are many listed companies in Klang. Besides the glove makers, listed manufacturers in Klang include NEW HOONG FATT HOLDINGS BHD, Hiap Teck Venture Bhd, Notion VTEC Bhd and the long products steel mill of the Lion group. 

Shipping, land transport companies and port operators in Port Klang are the most affected. 

Malaysian Shipowners’ Association (Masa) executive secretary Capt Hasnan Anuar said that shipowners and operators would likely see some delays in their operations as a result of disruptions in vessel scheduling and cargo movements. 

“It will take some time to clear the backlog and for operations to become normal again,'' he said. 

As for airlines, AirAsia Bhd marketing director Lim Su Ching said that “operations went on as usual” although the low-cost carrier was closely monitoring the situation. 

“AirAsia is part of a committee set up by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB). Our flight operations officials are in close contact with the Department of Civil Aviation, MAHB and the KLIA Tower to keep a close tab on the situation,” she said in an email. 

On the temporary closure of Subang airport, Lim said several flights had been diverted to the KL International Airport which remained open. 

Meanwhile, PLUS Expressways Bhd has seen an increase in traffic on its North-South Expressway and observers said a lot more traffic was anticipated this weekend as people leave the Klang Valley to escape the haze. 

Also, more people are reported to be using the highway to get home to cut short the time spent on the road. The North-South Expressway saw a slight increase in traffic from Monday to Wednesday compared with a week ago. 

PLUS assistant general manager for corporate communications, Khalilah Talha, said there was a 0.5% rise in traffic on Monday, 12.2% on Tuesday and 2.4% on Wednesday. 

She said the increase in traffic on Monday and Wednesday was related to the haze while the exceptionally high traffic on Tuesday could have been due to the National Day holiday in Singapore.  

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