JOHOR BARU: Another five schools have been directed to close today, bringing the total number of schools closed to 18 due to pollution from illegal chemical dumping at Sungai Kim Kim in Pasir Gudang.
The five new schools are SK Taman Scientex, SK Taman Mawar, SMK Nusa Damai, SMK Taman Rinting and SMK Taman Cendana.
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian, Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin and Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad are expected to hold a press conference to give the latest updates.
Earlier, 13 other schools were directed to close.
Among them were SK Taman Pasir Putih, SMK Taman Pasir Putih, SK Pasir Putih, SK Tanjung Puteri Resort, SMK Tanjung Puteri Resort, SK Kota Masai 2 and SMK Kota Masai 2. Also affected were SK Kota Masai 3, SMK Kota Masai, SK Kota Masai, SK Perigi Acheh, Sekolah Agama Kampung Pasir Putih and Sekolah Agama Taman Pasir Putih.
Meanwhile former johor mentri besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin in a statement condemned the incident and also hit out at the state government for their failures and weaknesses in handling the issue.
"We have not seen any seriousness in handling this issue," he said, adding that many things were not properly explained, causing anxiety.
He said the committee set up to handle the disaster should be more serious and focused.
"They should not just wait and see; not just issue statements and taking action against those responsible," he added.
"They should also appoint a spokesman from the state government to update the families, the public and the media," he added.
Mohamed Khaled also suggested that a special fund be set up to provide assistance to the affected families.
He stressed that as Pasir Gudang was an industrial estate, so it was critical for the state government to ensure the area was safe and did not pose any danger to the public.