KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 12 — PKR assemblyman Norlela Ariffin is pleased and relieved that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has finally taken action against an illegal factory operating in Kampung Sungai Lembu, Penang.
The Penanti state lawmaker claimed to have raised the issue of the carbon filter processing factory more than two years ago during the state legislative assembly, and had lodged reports with authorities over the matter, but no action had been taken, The Star Online reported.
“The villagers told me about their concerns in February 2015. I raised the matter at the state assembly sitting but no action was taken for two years.
“Early this year, before the state assembly sitting, villagers handed me an 18-page petition, appealing for the factory to be closed as they claimed it was affecting their health.
“It was also found that the factory was not operating according to guidelines,” she was quoted saying.
Back in November 2015, Norlela broke down and sobbed uncontrollably at the assembly, accusing the state government of failing to respond to her queries.
She said back then that she had been waiting for the winding up speeches for replies to issues she raised for her constituents in Penanti that included lack of infrastructure for roads, illegal factories, lack of proper jetties for fishermen and infrastructure for homestay programmes.
In May, her allocation was withheld as she did not show up for the state governor’s swearing-in ceremony.
Norlela also alleged that funds collected for flood mitigation had not been used to assist her constituents.
“In Penanti alone, there are nine flood-prone areas that could greatly benefit from these funds,” she reportedly said, citing the Auditor General’s Report 2016 Series 1 which revealed that the Seberang Prai Municipal Council had only used RM2.2 million of RM63.39 million collected from 2008 to June 2016.
Yesterday, the MACC detained a manager and his director son of the Kampung Sungai Lembu factory as well as a Penang state executive councillor over complaints concerning the factory.
Penang state executive councillor Phee Boon Poh was detained after he went to the MACC office to have his statement recorded.
In a statement, MACC confirmed the arrests, and said the three will be brought to the Georgetown Magistrate court today to be remanded.
The statement added that the carbon filter-processing factory has been operational for for ten years without a licensed permit on agricultural land.
The agency along with the Department of Environment and Immigration Department raided the factory and the Seberang Perai Municipal Council on Thursday.