KOTA TINGGI: The state government will not publicly spar with a government-linked company over the recent detection of high ammonia content in Sungai Johor while awaiting further test results.
Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin said there was no need to argue publicly with the GLC-owned palm oil mill in Ulu Remis near Kluang which had been identified as having caused the pollution in Sungai Johor earlier this month.
“A closure notice has already been issued to the palm oil mill and we are awaiting the test results from the Department of Environment (DOE),” Mohamed Khaled said when asked to comment on the statement by the company that its in-house laboratory tests did not find any trace of effluents from the palm oil mill.
Mohamed Khaled spoke to reporters at a ceremony to mark the completion of the Seluyut Dam project near here which cost more than RM1bil.
The project supplies raw water to the multi-billion ringgit Petronas Pengerang Integrated Complex located about 90km from the dam area.
Mohamed Khaled said the palm oil mill had been given a stop-work order for 60 days from July 14 by the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry.
The notice was served after DOE found that effluents from the mill were the main cause of high ammonia content in Sungai Johor.
The pollution was detected in the river on July 12, causing a major water disruption in three southern districts for three days until July 14.
It forced the shutdown of three water treatment plants, namely Semangar, Sungai Johor and Tai Hong, which affected some 600,000 users.
The water treatment plants serve domestic, commercial and industrial users in Skudai, Kulai, Bukit Batu, Iskandar Puteri, Tanjung Bin power station and Port of Tanjung Pelepas.
On Singapore having supplied treated water to Johor during the three-day disruption, Mohamed Khaled said it was a normal procedure as agreed between the two sides.
“The same thing happened during the recent drought where we received treated water from the republic. It reflects the good bilateral relationship between Johor and Singapore.”