PASIR GUDANG: Villagers staying near Sungai Kim Kim here are going about their daily tasks as usual despite the risk of toxic fumes.
The home of Osman Mohamad, who hails from Kampung Paya near Taman Pasir Putih here, is located only 20m away from the river.
The 52-year-old said he would leave if the authorities told him to, but for now he is staying put to guard his home.
According to him, there are a total of 68 families in the village.
Osman said he and his seven family members would take precautions whenever they left their house.
“We don’t go out as often and we drink more water,” he said.
Another villager, 40-year-old Hadelisuri Rabu, questioned the way the clean-up was being carried out by authorities.“I want to know if the work is to clean the river of pollution or to widen it.
“They keep digging the river banks and not the riverbed, which is the most polluted area,” Hadelisuri said.
He added that the operation was carried out very early in the morning.
Meanwhile, State Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee chairman Dr Sahruddin Jamal urged the public and villagers to stay away from Sungai Kim Kim for the moment.
“The authorities are in the midst of cleaning up the river so for safety measures, please do not go near the scene.
“I also urge the public to follow the safety measures recommended by authorities, including wearing face masks when they step outside their home,” he said.