NGO says no to new plans

A RESOUNDING “no” is the response of Persatuan Tindakan Alam Sekitar Kuala Langat (PTASKL) on plans of a battery factory reopening in Kampung Jenjarom, Banting.

The local non-governmental organisation (NGO) is adamant that the factory, which will be involved in the business of making batteries, should not be operating in a medium industry zone.

PTASKL legal advisor Lee Chee Kwang said Kuala Langat Municipal Council (MPKL) should not approve plans to reopen the factory.

“Going by the council’s local plan, battery manufacturing is considered heavy industry.

“To give the green light for a heavy industry to operate here raises questions on the legality of the approval, ” he said.

Lee said PTASKL should be invited to attend engagement sessions too.

“As an NGO, we are also residents of this village. My office is located only 3km from that factory.

“We serve as a check and balance for the authorities to ensure that it abides by rules and regulations, ” he said.

PTASKL secretary Pua Lay Peng raised concerns about the potential discharge of hydrofluoric and hydrochloric acids, which she said were common by-products in battery production.

Lamenting the hazards posed by these chemicals, she urged MPKL not to entertain any request to reopen the factory.

“There is no Act that can justify a heavy industry operating in a medium industry area.

“The local plan should be followed to the letter without any exceptions, ” she said.

In response to these concerns, Federal Power chairman Datuk Seri Hisham Abdul Wahab denied that the factory would be involved in activity deemed heavy industry.

“The factory is not a heavy industry business as we are not smelting any metals unlike the previous owner.

“We are not planning to make batteries from scratch.

“We are only assembling the components here, ” he explained.

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