KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 — Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar is angered by false allegations connecting him to a factory that allegedly caused the pollution in Pasir Gudang, which has led to hundreds of people being hospitalised.
He told the Royal Press Office today that certain quarters, which he did not identify, should be focused on tackling the incident instead of trying to divert the public’s attention from their shortcomings.
“It has come to my knowledge that there are certain quarters who are spreading slander that I am involved in the factory that caused the pollution in Pasir Gudang.
“I wish to remind all parties to stop politicising this issue. If it is true, provide proof that I am involved in the factory because I will never be shaken nor will I bow to slander that tarnishes the Johor Royal Institution,” he said in a statement which was also shared on his Facebook page.
The sultan also said that he was keeping himself abreast with the incident including with the clean-up work being carried out by the authorities.
About 4,000 people have been hospitalised since the toxic fumes were first discovered emitting from the chemical waste illegally dumped into Sungai Kim Kim last Thursday. There has been no fatalities.
The incident has also forced the government to close down 111 schools in the Pasir Gudang district until further notice.
On March 12, the Johor Department of Environment (DOE) said it had completed its investigation and would charge two companies operating factories that were responsible for illegally dumping the chemicals
Its director Mohammad Ezzani Mat Salleh said three male suspects aged between 40 and 50 were detained but so far no charges have been filed.
Meanwhile, Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin said earlier today that the clean-up of the 1.5km river has been completed but monitoring would continue.
Yeo added that 30 teams comprising DOE members and Chemistry Department personnel were deployed to 30 schools around the affected area today, to monitor air quality by using gas detectors.
She said all 30 schools were located three to nine kilometres from Sungai Kim Kim.