GEORGE TOWN, Aug 16 — The Pakatan Harapan (PH) Penang government must stop the blame game over the Sungai Lembu illegal factory issue, state Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders said today.
Penang BN chairman Teng Chang Yeow accused the state led by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng of shirking its responsibility by faulting the previous administration.
Teng pointed out that the authority now lies with the current PH administration and not the BN, which has no power to decide anything in the state.
“Are they scared to shoulder responsibility by asking BN to bear the responsibility, if action is taken now?” he asked in a statement.
“Whether the DAP state government wants to demolish or keep those illegal factories or structures built before or after 2008 is purely the authority and power of the DAP state government,” he added.
He said it has been nine years since the BN lost control over the state.
“The DAP state government claimed that they took the decision not to demolish any illegal structure, building or factory that existed pre-2008, when they took over power in 2008 while looking for a workable solution.
“Nine years have passed, but they are still working on a workable solution and this called into question the competency of the DAP State Government within their own CAT principles,” Teng said.
Gerakan’s state land and anti-corruption committee spokesman H’ng Khoon Leng also demanded the PH state administration take responsibility for the illegal factory.
He said it was “totally preposterous and irresponsible” of the current administration to push the blame onto its predecessor.
He scorned the PH government’s explanation that it could not do anything because the factory was established before it came to power, and claimed that 11 out of 500 residents in Sungai Lembu have been confirmed to be suffering from cancer.
“Seven young adults had passed away due to cancer and the cancer incidence rate in Sungei Lembu is 2,342 per cent above our national average,” he claimed.
He also claimed that the factory was barely visible by aerial view in a satellite aerial time-marked photograph on August 31, 2008.
“The illegal factory appeared clearly in subsequent satellite aerial photographs from 2009. These photographs indicated that the illegal factory was now able to operate openly,” he said, referring to aerial photographs of the factory.
H’ng said the factory was incorporated in 2007.
He said the then Village Security and Development Committee had submitted complaints to the previous state government and the Department of Environment to complain about the illegal factory and pollution back in May 2007.
He said an investigation work was started and the small factory did some remedial works to reduce its impact.