Selangor MB Amirudin must set up task force urgently to stop river pollution — Charles Santiago

SEPTEMBER 7 — Just like all of you, I am also fed-up of vague excuses and weak promises of making things better. 

Distributing water to my constituency on Saturday, I heard heart-breaking stories of families struggling to buy water for consumption and toilet use because it’s just too expensive.

These folks care two hoots about promises to get cracking on laws that need to be amended to ensure no factory or company dare to pollute the river or waterways.

Yes, the Selangor Mentri Besar has said the owners of Yip Chee Seng & Sons Sdn Bhd/AAY Construction Sdn Bhd will be forced to vacate the land. But that’s not enough. 

It sounds hollow to you, to me and to the people whose taps have run dry. 

Yes, water is a federal jurisdiction and the Department of Environment comes under the Ministry of Environment and Water. 

But Selangor should have been proactive by ensuring Selangor Water Management Authority (LUAS) took on an effective enforcement and monitoring role, since water disruptions are happening one too many times. 

And Amirudin should have asked for more budget, personnel and logistics to make sure such a task was possible. 

Amirudin must also set up a task force comprising of stakeholders to identify the gaps and table amendments to specific laws at the Selangor state assembly within the next thirty days. And raise regulatory matters with the Federal government. 

The primary aim of the task force would be to stop pollution of rivers and other water sources of the state. It would entail reviewing current policies and practices including developing ideas of a new regulatory framework to ensure discipline and coherence in the industry. 

Specifically, the task force would, inter-alia identify and address existing approval, licencing and monitoring practices, silo approach of agencies, propose new regulations, rethink existing schedule waste management systems, strengthening oversight bodies and financial resources. 

Either that, or we would be going back and forth shifting the blame on each other while the people continue to face water disruptions. 

*Charles Santiago is Member of Parliament Klang.

**This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.

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