Klang MP threatens to sue unless Selangor admits pond water hazardous

Klang DAP MP Charles Santiago says Selangor did not provide evidence to counter studies that showed that there are high levels of concentration of heavy metals in water and soil from the pond. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Klang DAP MP Charles Santiago says Selangor did not provide evidence to counter studies that showed that there are high levels of concentration of heavy metals in water and soil from the pond. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 ― Selangor must release the results of studies proving that water from a disused tin mining pond in Bestari Jaya was not safe for consumption, Klang MP Charles Santiago said today as he threatened to sue the state government over the matter.

Despite repeated claims otherwise, Santiago said Selangor did not provide “not a shred of evidence” to counter studies that showed that there are high levels of concentration of heavy metals in water and soil from the pond.

“This is my last request to the Selangor state government to make the relevant documents public, in the interest of the people and in the spirit of transparency and governance,” the DAP MP said outside Parliament here.

“If this fails to get the attention of the state government, I will be left with no choice but to seek legal redress.”

Santiago insisted that water from  abandoned mining ponds will be dangerous to the public’s health and will pollute the Selangor River, as treatment plants are not equipped to clean the traces of heavy metals.

He pointed out to several papers by academic from University of Malaya’s departments of Chemistry and Geology in 2010 and 2011, which consistently reported contamination in the Bestari Jaya pond in Kuala Selangor.

A study, which involved 15 sampling stations, concluded that the Bestari Jaya catchment area has high pollution risk to environment after finding the standard of water quality there as requiring extensive treatment.

The study listed down arsenic, chromium, copper, lead, zinc and tin as the metals polluting the water, which coud cause, among others, cancer, kidney disease, neurotic disorder and diabetes if drank or used.

Last month, Selangor insisted that water sourced from former tin mining ponds into Sungai Selangor is safe for everyday use.

State executive councillor in charge of youth, sports, infrastructure and public facilities Dr Yunus Hairi said that this had been verified by the Selangor water management board.

Selangor mentri besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim also said last that the water sourced from the ponds were in accordance to the health standards set by the Selangor Health Department.

Selangor, which currently supplies water to Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, enforced water rationing in March and April after water levels at the Sungai Selangor dam reached dangerously low levels due to a prolonged drought.

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