IPOH, April 4 — Perak authorities have discovered traces of the arsenic poison in water from Sungai Rui here.
Villagers residing in the vicinity are also reportedly developing skin cancer.
Perak Education, Science, Environment and Green Technology Committee chairman Abdul Aziz Bari said the state will take mitigating measures even though the arsenic levels were not yet at an alarming stage.
“Based on monitoring conducted by the Mineral and GeoScience Department, there was an increased in the river's pH level,” he said.
Speaking to the media in his office at the State Secretariat building here today, Aziz said the Perak Water Board was also taking precautionary measures.
Initial investigations revealed the cause of the pollution was due to mining activities near the river.
“With such activities, pollution is expected as balance of nature would be disturbed,” he said, adding the state was looking into how to mitigate it.
The Tebing Tinggi assemblyman advised the public not to panic over the revelation.
“Bottom line is the state is aware of the situation and precautionary measures are being taken,” he added, noting that Putrajaya had been informed of the matter.
Malay Mail reported previously that more than 4,000 people have been affected and 111 schools closed following the chemical waste incident at Sungai Kim Kim on March 7.
Two directors of a used tyre processing company had been charged over the disposal of scheduled wastes and air pollution in Sg Kim Kim.