SUNGKAI (July 5): A plastic processing factory here was ordered to close with immediate effect yesterday, following an inspection by authorities who found that terms of the conditional approval granted by the Tapah District Council had not been complied with.
Perak Health, Consumer Affairs, Civil Society, National Integration and Human Resources commitee chairman A. Sivanesan said the factory owner, believed to be a foreign national, had not obtained approval from the Department of Environment (DOE) to operate, and the factory was suspected of processing plastic materials brought into the country illegally.
Checks of the premises surrounding the factory found the area dirty and smelling, with authorities also concerned that contamination may have occurred, he said, explaining that the inspection was conducted following complaints from residents that river water in Kampung Baru Kuala Bikam had an odour, besides being so dirty that it had turned black.
Sivanesan was speaking to reporters at yesterday’s inspection which was carried out jointly by several bodies including the DOE, district council, police, Immigration Department, Labour Department, Irrigation and Drainage Department and the Land and Mines Office.
He said the exercise which began at 11am also involved an inspection of another factory nearby which was found to be in a satisfactory state.
The factory was eventually ordered shut, and during the inspection, many factory workers believed to be foreigners, were not present, and this had cast a suspicious light on the matter, Sivanesan said.
He explained that the closure would also enable the authorities to further investigate several concerns related to health, cleanliness, foreign workers and the plastic materials.
Sivanesan added that the DOE would also be testing samples of the river water.