Don’t panic dump, minister tells manufacturers amid Pasir Gudang crisis

Yeo cautioned manufacturers to keep their toxic waste in proper containers before disposing them at government sanctioned sites. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Yeo cautioned manufacturers to keep their toxic waste in proper containers before disposing them at government sanctioned sites. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 — Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin today requested manufacturers with scheduled waste or toxic waste not to panic and dump their waste irresponsibly.

She said panic dumping would make the situation far worse, amid a health crisis in Pasir Gudang, Johor where a recent case of indiscriminate chemical dumping into Sungai Kim Kim there has released toxic fumes that have made 506 people sick, with nine critically so.

“We must make sure there are no new sources of toxic waste being dumped illegally. Factory operators with scheduled waste or toxic waste should not panic because enforcement officers are making their inspections.

“If you have followed the law, don’t be afraid and don’t throw your toxic waste irresponsibly because of the inspections,” Yeo told reporters in Parliament here.

She pointed out that it would be better for the manufacturers to keep their toxic waste in proper containers before disposing them at government sanctioned sites.

Yesterday, a total of 506 victims of toxic fumes were recorded to have sought medical treatment today following the dumping of toxic waste into Sungai Kim Kim last Thursday.

The Education Ministry has closed all 111 schools in the district until further notice.

Earlier today, federal lawmakers set aside their political differences to push for a state of emergency to be declared in Pasir Gudang, Johor with Pontian MP Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan (Umno) and Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim (PKR) leading the way.