JOHOR BARU, Aug 5 — Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin today welcomed Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal’s apology on the continued pollution in Pasir Gudang.
However, the Umno vice-president demanded that the state government explain several unresolved issues.
“Finally, for the first time we have all heard Dr Sahruddin’s apology on the continuous incidents of pollution in Pasir Gudang.
“As a resident of Pasir Gudang, though I regret and feel that it is too late, I believe that at least the mentri besar is ready to deal with the matter openly,” said Khaled.
He said this in a statement issued today touching on Dr Sahruddin’s townhall session in Pasir Gudang yesterday.
Khaled, who is also a former Johor mentri besar, said that despite the apology, there are still several issues which must be explained to the public.
“Most importantly, when will the state government reveal the names of those who are accused of being responsible [for the pollution incidents]?
“What are the state government's plans and strategies to managing the incident that is still unresolved?” asked Khaled.
The 60-year-old Johor Umno politician also asked if there will be compensation for the victims and their families from the responsible parties.
“Will the state government or federal government channel assistance to the victims and their families?” asked Khaled.
On the possibility of moving factories from Pasir Gudang to another area, Khaled said Dr Sahruddin did not outline a plan on how to strengthen the management and monitoring efforts by the authorities to ensure such incidents do not recur.
He highlighted the lack of details on the plan to rehabilitate the industrial area.
“I hope that the mentri besar understands that an apology alone will not fix the situation and resolve the issue.
“I hope that positive solutions can be achieved by working together to ensure that the same thing never happens again,” said Khaled.
During a townhall session yesterday, Dr Sahruddin apologised for the continued pollution in the Pasir Gudang district that has jeopardised the health of locals there.
He gave his word to improve weaknesses that have seen the health crises prolong since March.
Dr Sahruddin had come under fire with detractors claiming he has been uncontactable after the latest air pollution struck in late June.
Opposition politicians added to the pressure, questioning his commitment and the delay in holding a townhall to explain the state’s measures in dealing with the health crises after one was promised in early July.