Prosecution postponed: Johor chemical waste dumping case

Prosecution postponed: Johor chemical waste dumping case

JOHOR BARU: The prosecution today of the owner of an illegal tyre recycling factory who allegedly dumped chemical waste in a river in Pasir Gudang and triggered a health crisis has had to be postponed.

Over 20 reporters gathered at the court complex here as early as 7 am had to leave disappointed after being informed that charges will not be pressed today against the owner who allegedly discarded the waste into Sungai Kim Kim.

Johor Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee chairman Dr Sahruddin Jamal said the Office of the Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) has asked the Department of Environment (DoE) to obtain additional information on the matter.

“The prosecution cannot be done until there is further instruction from the Office of the DPP,” he said in a statement.

Energy, Science, Technology, Innovation, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said yesterday that the investigation papers had been submitted to the Office of the DPP.

The Education Ministry yesterday ordered the indefinite closure of all the 111 schools in Pasir Gudang after hundreds of people, many of them schoolchildren, landed in hospital over the past week due to the inhalation of the toxic fumes emanating from the chemical waste.

In a Facebook post last night, Dr Sahruddin urged all quarters not to politicise the pollution issue and to stop circulating fake news on the matter.

“Do not fish in troubled waters. Do not worsen the trying times we are facing in Pasir Gudang now,” he posted.

Dr Sahruddin, who is the state assemblyman for Bukit Kepong, recalled the time of the massive floods in Kelantan in 2014 and said everyone came together then as Malaysians to extend assistance and pray for the victims. — BERNAMA