MPs press for emergency declaration in Pasir Gudang amid crisis

Pontian MP Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan is pictured at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur March 12, 2019. — Picture by FIrdaus Latif
Pontian MP Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan is pictured at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur March 12, 2019. — Picture by FIrdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 — With over nine lives on the line, federal lawmakers set aside their political differences to push for a state of emergency to be declared in Pasir Gudang, Johor.

Umno’s Pontian MP Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan mooted an emergency motion during Question Time today, amid reports that chemical waste dumped into Sungai Kim Kim there has shut all 111 schools in the district as noxious fumes continue to be blown across the area due to weather conditions.

“Pontian would like the government to declare a state of emergency because of the toxic waste dumping in Sungai Kim Kim because it takes more than a week to clean the river. We should also give the victims some form of compensation.

“If we give compensation to victims of natural disasters, we must give the victims of this toxic waste disaster some compensation. If we can’t give them compensation then we must allow them to take legal action against the ones behind this,” he said in the House.

Ahmad’s call was taken up by Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim who demanded that the emergency motion be discussed today and technicalities on the motion should take a backseat.

“I request that the government declare a state of emergency in Pasir Gudang today. This morning I’ve sent a letter requesting an emergency motion to discuss the toxic waste dumping today instead of Monday.

“Technicalities should take a back seat when people’s lives are in danger,” said the PKR lawmaker.

Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said she has taken note of their request but also said she is unable to make a decision alone and must submit their request for a state of emergency to the proper committees.

However, she did say that she will work on it as soon as possible.