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Johor govt to appeal against court decision on Sg Kim Kim pollution incident

Publish date: Sun, 03 Dec 2023, 04:59 PM

ISKANDAR PUTERI: The Johor government will appeal against the Johor Baru Sessions Court’s decision to fine a company RM320,000 for polluting Sungai Kim Kim in Pasir Gudang.

Johor state housing and local government committee chairman, Datuk Mohd Jafni Md Shukor, said that Sungai Kim Kim was one of 14 polluted rivers in the state that have now recovered to the Class 3 category.

“The court decision to sentence the company behind the pollution incident to a RM320,000 fine is something that we believe might need to be reviewed.

“The government will make a plea to the deputy public prosecutor to see if what has been sentenced is equally fair to what the government has spent and the effect that the incident has caused to the nearby residents.

“The issue of river pollution in Johor is something that the state government takes seriously, and in the state, we have about 14 rivers that are considered polluted, including Sungai Kim Kim,” he said.

He said this when met by reporters after the state assembly sitting held at Bangunan Sultan Ismail, Kota Iskandar, here on Sunday (Dec 3).

Mohd Jafni, who is also the Johor River Committee co-chairman, said that it is high time for the government to be stricter in terms of enforcement to protect the environment for the next generation.

“The committee was introduced in August this year and is co-chaired by me and Johor tourism, environment, heritage, and culture committee chairman K. Raven Kumar.

“A monthly meeting is conducted to oversee the river cleanup operations conducted statewide,” he said, adding that the committee is also joined by the Drainage and Irrigation Department, local councils, district offices, the Department of Environment, the Johor Water Regulatory Body (Bakaj), and Plan Malaysia.

Earlier, the Department of Environment said in a statement on Saturday (Dec 2) that a lorry driver has been fined RM100,000 for causing pollution through the illegal disposal of scheduled waste in Sungai Kim Kim at Pasir Gudang in 2019.

It added that P Tech Resources Sdn Bhd, which faced eight charges under the Environmental Quality (Clean Air) Regulations 2014, was also fined RM40,000 for each charge, making it a total of RM320,000.

A pollution incident in 2019 affected the health of more than 2,000 people and caused 111 schools in Pasir Gudang to be ordered to close following the dumping of toxic waste in Sungai Kim Kim on March 7.

Some 947 victims received treatment at the Sultan Ismail Hospital - nine of them in the intensive care unit.

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