KUALA LUMPUR: We should just close down all illegal factories, says Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (pic).
Responding to questions on the pollution from illegal factories that caused state-wide water cuts, he said noted many seemed undaunted by compounds issued.
Wan Junaidi said his Ministry only had authority over legal factories and that the state government had to bridge the gap by ensuring that only factories that were up to standard should be allowed to operate.
"We are still behaving like a third world country when it comes to these factories, we cannot just development happen so haphazardly," he said, during a press conference, at the Forest Research Institute Malaysia's 31st anniversary celebrations on Saturday.
He called on the public to boycott products from illegal factories, saying products should come from legitimate businesses.
He also told the state government to take a firm stance on the matter, even if such factories contributed to the livelihood of Small Medium Enterprise and Small Medium Industry players.
"Even if most of the factories along Sungai Semenyih were legitimate, all it took was a single factory leaking pollutants to affect them all," he said.
Asked if the Ministry should assist with monitoring river pollution, Wan Junaidi said he did not think the state government needed it and would be able to address the issue themselves.
An illegal factory along Jalan Sungai Lalang, Semenyih, had been identified as the culprit behind the water disruptions in the Klang Valley over the last few weeks.
The factory, which passed itself as a building materials factory, was alleged to be recycling and reselling engine oil, which had leaked into Sungai Semenyih.
Since then enforcement officers from three agencies – Kajang Municipal Council, Hulu Langat Land Office and Department of Environment (DOE) – conducted a joint operation to check on some 120 factories operating along the river.
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