Armed Forces: Operations to help clean-up Pasir Gudang contamination underway

Malaysian Army western field engineer commander Brigadier General Abdul Hamid Mohd Isa (far left) briefing Deputy Defence Minister Liew Chin Tong on the progress of the cleaning-up operations in Sungai Kim Kim in Pasir Gudang today. — Picture by Ben Tan
Malaysian Army western field engineer commander Brigadier General Abdul Hamid Mohd Isa (far left) briefing Deputy Defence Minister Liew Chin Tong on the progress of the cleaning-up operations in Sungai Kim Kim in Pasir Gudang today. — Picture by Ben Tan

PASIR GUDANG, March 15 — The Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) has started their operations at the illegal chemical dumping site in Pasir Gudang, which led to toxic fumes spreading in the area.

Malaysian Army western field engineer commander Brigadier General Abdul Hamid Mohd Isa said seven officers and 33 personnel of other ranks are currently involved in the operation.

“The army’s expertise in this operation involves survey work, identifying, sampling, marking and reporting before submitting it to the contractor for cleaning works,” he said, adding that the army teams will be divided according to their specialties.

Abdul Hamid said that another army team has been tasked with operating together with the Fire and Rescue Department’s hazardous materials (Hazmat) unit.

He said this on the sidelines as Deputy Defence Minister Liew Chin Tong’s visited the operations centre and medic base at the Pasir Gudang Indoor Stadium today.

Earlier, Abdul Hamid had briefed Liew on the army’s operations in the cleaning-up effort of Sungai Kim Kim.

Also present was Johor Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee chairman Dr Sahruddin Jamal and the state Johor Women Development and Tourism Committee chairman Liow Cai Tung.

Meanwhile, Liew, who spent about an hour to hear the briefing and visit the victims, praised the efficiency of the operation that involved all efforts from multiple agencies.

“This visit is to have an understanding of the current situation and to assess what other assistance can be provided.

“So far, I am satisfied with the army’s operation with all the agencies involved,” said Liew.

Yesterday, it was reported that the army has sent a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) team to Pasir Gudang to assist operations at the site where toxic chemical pollution has occurred.

The army said the team, from the 12th Squadron of the Royal Army Engineers Regiment, would lend its expertise to efforts at the site.