Johor DOE investigates open burning at illegal dumpsite in Kempas

Johor Local government, Urban Wellbeing and Environment Committee chairman Tan Chen Choon said investigation papers were being completed for submission to the deputy public prosecutor. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Johor Local government, Urban Wellbeing and Environment Committee chairman Tan Chen Choon said investigation papers were being completed for submission to the deputy public prosecutor. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

JOHOR BARU, Aug 7 — The Johor Department of Environment (DOE) has conducted an investigation into the open burning incident at an illegal dumpsite at Jalan Banjaran 15, Bukit Kempas, here, causing air pollution in the surrounding area.

 Johor Local government, Urban Wellbeing and Environment Committee chairman Tan Chen Choon said investigation papers were being completed for submission to the deputy public prosecutor.

He said the Johor Land and Mines Office (PTG) had also issued notice 7A in accordance with Section 128 of the National Land Code to the landowner involved to restore the condition of the land.

“The Johor government views the situation in Bukit Kempas seriously, especially the continuous underground burning at the illegal dumpsite and open burning in the area.

“Thus, through special meetings with government agencies and departments, firefighting operations  will be conducted continuously for a week and will be monitored by the relevant agencies including the Johor Bahru City Council (MBJB), the Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia, Johor Water Company (SAJ) and Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Corporation (SWCorp),” he said in a statement here, today.

“MBJB agreed that a long-arm excavator will be hired to dig up the heaps of burning garbage and flood the area with water using fire hoses. The fire department will provide  24-hour fire engines and SAJ will supply water for the fire engines,” he said.

The entrance to the site will also be closed using concrete barriers so that such incidents do not recur.

Tan also pointed out that legal action could be taken against landowners who conducted open burning by confiscating the land for violating terms under Section 129 of the National Land Code, and fined RM500,000 or be imprisoned for a term not exceeding five years or both.

Meanwhile, State Education, Human Resource, Science and Technology Committee chairman Aminolhuda Hassan said the open burning issue also affected Sekolah Kebangsaan Taman Bukit Kempas, which was just one kilometre from the illegal dumpsite.

Aminolhuda, who visited the school with 353 pupils today, also donated 1,000 face masks. — Bernama