SHAH ALAM, Sept 8 — The Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, today expressed sadness that the people were subjected to hardship over the recent unscheduled piped water disruption and called for firm action over the issue.
Istana Selangor said in a statement that His Royal Highness had written to Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari stating what had to be done because the ruler is worried that a persistent water problem can give rise to tension among the people and disrupt social harmony.
The palace said the sultan was briefed on the recurring disruption in clean water supply in the state by Amirudin at an audience at Istana Bukit Kayangan here.
The statement said the sultan wanted stricter enforcement measures to be put in place and illegally erected houses and factories on the banks of rivers demolished as they had the potential to pollute the rivers and tributaries in the state.
It also said that the ruler had long called for a special committee to be set up by the state government to monitor and ensure that rivers remain unpolluted by chemicals or waste material that can jeopardise the supply of raw water to the treatment plants.
Sultan Sharafuddin, according to the statement, also wants the enforcement of more stringent legislation for the imposition of heavier penalties on polluters of rivers and the environment, especially water sources, and offenders to be given mandatory jail terms and maximum fines.
The statement also said that the sultan is against any political interference in enforcement matters pertaining to the pollution of the environment.
Since last Thursday, about five million people in seven areas in the Klang Valley faced an unscheduled disruption in piped water supply after four water treatment plants had to be shut down due to odour pollution of Sungai Gong in Rawang.
Sungai Gong is a tributary of Sungai Sembah which flows into Sungai Selangor that supplies raw water to the four treatment plants, namely Sungai Selangor Phase 1, 2 and 3 and Rantau Panjang.
Last Saturday, police arrested four brothers in their 50s who own a factory suspected to have been the source of the pollution.
The piped water supply to most of the affected areas has been restored. — Bernama