JOHOR BARU, Oct 2 — The Johor government will propose to the federal government to improve laws and enforcement related to water pollution offences so that the issues could be tackled appropriately.
State Works, Rural and regional Development Committee chairman Datuk Ir Hasni Mohammad said this was because the existing laws were seen to have weaknesses that needed improvement.
“In this country, there are many agencies responsible for water pollution, such as the Department of Irrigation and Drainage, Johor Water Regulatory Body and the Department of Environment.
“However, laws related to water pollution offences and enforcement practised in those agencies differed from one another. The Johor state government is in the opinion that the laws did not really reflect the importance for us to regulate or monitor all forms of threats to our existing (water) resources,” he said.
Hasni said this to reporters after the launch of the Water Leaders Forum by Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin. The forum was also attended by Singapore Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli Masagos Mohamad here today.
Hasni said the proposal followed multiple incidents of ammonia pollution which had caused water supply in the state to be constantly disrupted.
“In tackling the issues of water disruption, we have to look into the legislative aspect. I know the people are getting fed up to be told that the water supply disruption was due to high level of ammonia in our water. That is why the government has to do something about this,” he said.
In another development, Hasni said the state government had spent over RM500 million this year to increase the capacity of water storage in the state.
He said this involved the Iskandar Malaysia Raw Water Transfer (Pamim) project, Kahang Water Treatment Plant project in Kluang and the raw water transfer project from Sungai Lenggor to the Congok Dam in Mersing.
The two-day forum is participated by nine academicians, 15 professionals, 30 representatives of government agencies, nine representatives of non-governmental organisations and 11 foreign participants. — Bernama