JOHOR BARU: The state’s plan to relocate factories within the Pasir Gudang industrial area to other suitable districts have come under fire from non-governmental organisations and political leaders.
Malaysian Nature Society vice-president Vincent Chow said the suggestion from Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian showed it was a lazy man’s approach that does not solve environmental issues in the state.
“It will not solve anything but would create more environmental problems in the future if the government goes ahead with their plan,” he said when contacted here yesterday.
Chow added that if Osman really wanted to make a positive change, then the government should enforce existing laws in protecting the environment.
“There is a lack of enforcement coming from the local authorities and the Department of Environment. By taking stern action the factories will surely abide by the rules,” he added.
Meanwhile, Johor PKR chief Hassan Abdul Karim said the river and air pollution in Pasir Gudang must be handled more responsibly and not by closing and relocating factories.
“The state government should monitor more than 60 licensed chemical factories in Pasir Gudang and take lawful action against those that do not have any licence,” he added.
Tebrau MP Steven Choong said there were several factors that Osman must take into consideration before making a final decision on whether to relocate all the factories.
“Who is going to bear the cost of buying new land, build the new factories, dismantling and reinstalling the machines,” he said.
It was reported by Bernama that Osman said the government was in the midst of identifying several areas suitable for the relocation of factories from the Pasir Gudang area.
Among the locations were Kota Tinggi, Kluang or Simpang Renggam.
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