Factories near rivers must go


  • Letters
  • Thursday, 24 Sep 2020

OVER 1.2 million consumers in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur had to suffer an unnecessary water cut for days in early September because of pollution from an illegal factory. The state authorities later admitted that the factory had been operating without a licence since 2014.

A few days ago, the Selangor Water Management Authority (LUAS) warned about discoloration of raw water in Sungai Gong, which was where the earlier pollution had caused the widespread water supply cut.

This time, instead of finding the true culprit, LUAS simply accused Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) of being the polluter. It later turned out that IWK was also a victim of the illegally dumped waste, but luckily Klang Valley residents didn’t have to suffer another major water supply cut.

All this points to lack of proper management of raw water resources by the Selangor state authorities, as water supply cuts triggered by LUAS seem to be happening more frequently these days, and more than in any other state in Malaysia.

This is really disappointing as Selangor had promised better piped water management to Klang Valley residents when it bought out privately run firms Puncak Niaga, Syabas, Abass and Splash for billions of ringgit.

Think of how that humongous amount of money could have been used by the state to improve the water supply system instead of just making some people very rich!

And blaming IWK makes it clear that Selangor is running out of ideas on how to better manage our precious water resource and ensure it keeps flowing to our taps.

Stop the blame game, Selangor, and start looking at ways to prevent the raw water pollution first.

The biggest joke came from Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari, who is now giving illegal factories “one last chance” to be licensed. And he has the audacity to say some of the factories have been operating illegally since 2008!

He should simply take a boat ride along the main rivers feeding the Air Selangor water treatment plants and find out exactly how many factories are operating next to these rivers.

It doesn’t matter if these factories are licensed or not – all of them should go to make sure the rivers don’t get polluted again.

Both the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Sultan of Selangor have called on Selangor to clean up its act and enforce laws already in place to kick out these polluters. The only question left is why the Selangor state government remains so hesitant. Is there something to hide?

GAN ENG BOON

Subang Jaya

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