Attitude change needed, Johor Ruler tells people

Flash floods near Kampung Masjid, Masai, in July. The dumping of rubbish into rivers and drains is a major contributor to the problem. — Filepic

JOHOR Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar is disappointed with the behaviour of certain quarters who throw waste into drains and rivers, adversely affecting the drainage system in Johor Baru during the rainy season.

His Majesty said based on an investigation by the Johor Baru City Council (MBJB), the flash floods that hit several locations around the city several months ago was due to the drainage system being blocked by domestic and construction waste.

“It comes from the attitude of some people who like to throw garbage into rivers, ditches and drains.

“When it rains heavily and for a long period, then flash floods are inevitable.

“I saw the pictures and video footage shown by Johor Baru mayor Datuk Mohd Noorazam Osman.

“There is so much rubbish thrown away including mattresses, wood and even refrigerators. Very disappointing.

“The community should be more responsible by not throwing garbage into drains or rivers.

“Acts like this will later contribute to the occurrence of floods,” His Majesty said in a statement posted on Sultan Ibrahim’s Facebook page.

Prior to this, Sultan Ibrahim had decreed that the state Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) as well as local councils carry out studies in all areas that were frequently hit by flash floods in Johor.

Meanwhile, Noorazam said that MBJB had carried out cleaning work at the affected locations by removing obstacles in drains, ditches and river systems.

“MBJB allocated RM6mil for river and drain maintenance every year. The attitude of a handful of our people is deeply regrettable.

“I have also visited flood hotspots to formulate comprehensive solutions involving immediate, medium and long-term plans to overcome the flood problem,” he said.

To combat the problem of indiscriminate dumping of rubbish, which contributes to environmental pollution and flooding, Johor Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp) has taken legal action against perpetrators.

Its director Cairul Hisham Jalaluddin said from 2018 to Sept 30 this year, the state SWCorp had taken 25 individuals and companies to court. The offenders were fined a total of RM427,000.

“From 2016 to Sept 30 this year, we identified 235 illegal dumpsites in Johor, with 55 spots repeatedly being dumped with waste after the rubbish was cleared,” he said and added that their mission was to have zero illegal dumpsites.

Cairul said based on their data, 43.75% of waste was construction debris followed by domestic waste at 28.13% and commercial waste comprising 17.41%.

He said SWCorp constantly engaged with stakeholders such as contractors, construction companies and the public on proper waste disposal.

It also carried out awareness programmes at about 300 schools in Johor, including preschools and universities.

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