Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Berhad (KDEB) Waste Management Sdn Bhd managing director Ramli Mohd Tahir said its operations would continue because rubbish collection and cleaning were essential services that were expected to go on as usual.
“This is even after the Government’s decision to place Malaysia under a nationwide movement control order until March 31 amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
“By ensuring that the state is clean, we can help prevent other outbreaks,” he said in a press conference at the state assembly sitting in Shah Alam.
Ramli said the company would not scale back on rubbish collection frequency and scheduling, but would take extra preventive measures for the well-being of all 8,000 workers, including lorry drivers, collectors, cleaners and staff at the rubbish centres.
These workers, he said, had been instructed to put on suitable protective gear and KDEB was trying to provide hand sanitisers and face masks for everyone.
“We also advised them to bring their own food and drinks from home so they do not have to dine in any restaurant, to limit contact with the general public.
“They were also advised on the steps to follow if one of them showed symptoms, namely to immediately seek medical treatment and carry out self quarantine,” he said.
To date, the company has about 1,000 lorries going around collecting waste in Selangor, totalling some 7,000 tonnes of domestic waste and 3,000 tonnes of bulk waste a day.
“We cannot just stop operations, but we will take extra safety precautions for our staff,” he said.
The movement control order requires government and private operations and businesses to close for the duration, which includes all local councils in Selangor.
“This is to limit the movement of people. Local councils will be closed with only necessary departments on standby,” said state local government, public transport and new village development committee chairman Ng Sze Han.
He said certain departments such as the emergency response teams and enforcement officers would be on standby.
Asked whether the state or local councils would be monitoring and ensuring other non-essential services and businesses adhered to the ruling, Ng said this was not under their jurisdiction.
“But we are always ready to assist if there is a request from the police or Federal Government,” he added.
Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) corporate communications assistant director Ahmad Iskandar Mohamed Mukhtar said all its payment counters would be closed.
MBPJ advised citizens to pay their bills online.
“All assessment fees, bills, compounds or licence fees can be paid online as all our physical counters will be closed until March 31.”
Ahmad Iskandar added that all parks under MBPJ would be closed, and even fishing would not be permitted.
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