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Continuous action needed to tackle illegal waste dumping

KUALA LUMPUR (July 31): Pollution is becoming a hot issue with the topic making headlines in the media and getting the attention of various quarters as it not only affects the environment but also involves the daily lives of the people.

Although various initiatives have been taken by the government to address the issue, there are some quarters who chose to ignore the matter, inevitably leading to various problems.

Efforts made by the federal and state governments to tackle the problem should be commended, but continuous monitoring should be conducted to ensure pollution, including the presence of illegal waste dumping sites, does not worsen.

Based on statistics issued by the Melaka government, there are 48 locations used as illegal rubbish dumping sites in the state, with 34 of them in Melaka Tengah, 11 in Jasin and three in Alor Gajah.

Melaka Solid Waste Management and Public Cleaning Management Corporation (SWCorp) director Khairuladha Ab Mutalib said based on investigations, it was found that the culprits were contractors and individuals who were hired to dispose waste from factories or construction sites.

“This should not happen because it will have negative effects on the environment and also the community. The culprits should be more responsible, they should dump the rubbish at the Sungai Udang waste disposal site, and to not simply dump the rubbish anywhere to profit,” he added.

He advised land owners to not lease out or allow their property to be used for waste dumping as they too could face legal action under the Solid Waste Management and Public Cleaning Act 2007 if their land were used as illegal waste dumping sites.

In Negeri Sembilan, a total of 15 illegal waste dumping sites have been detected in the state.

State Health, Environment, Cooperatives and Consumerism Action Committee chairman S. Veerapan said the type of waste dumped at the illegal dumping sites were domestic and agricultural waste.

“These illegal dumping sites are in residential areas, at cemeteries and in Felda areas. We are investigating, including to identify the persons responsible for dumping rubbish there,” he added.

In  IPOH, Perak Education, Technology, Science and Environment Committee chairman Dr Abdul Aziz Bari said that as of July 26, a total of 33 illegal waste dumping sites were detected in the Kinta Valley based on public complaints.

The type of waste dumped there are garden waste, old furniture and industrial waste, he said, adding that last year, 25 illegal waste dumping sites were detected in the state. 

In ALOR SETAR, no new illegal dumping sites have been detected besides the one in Kampung Kemapor, Sidam Kiri, near Sungai Petani.

According to the Kedah Industry and Investment, Local Government and Housing Committee chairman Tan Kok Yew, based on SWCorp's records, seven illegal rubbish dumping cases had been filed since last year, out of which five cases had been brought to court and found guilty.

In SHAH ALAM, the Selangor Department of Environment (DOE) announced that a special committee would be set up to curb the existence of illegal waste dumping ground.

Selangor DOE director Shafee Yasir said the special committee would be set up in view of many complaints from the public on illegal dumping of waste.

“The committee, comprising the Selangor DOE, the local government authority and the state government, will be set up to mobilise efforts to address the issue,” he said.

In Perlis, there are no large-scale illegal waste dumping sites,  said State SWCorp director Mohd Hidy Md Dzahir.

He said there is only one waste disposal site operating in Perlis, which is the Rimba Emas Sanitary Waste Disposal Site in Chuping, covering 3.89 hectare.

In JOHOR BAHRU, State Local Government, Urban Wellbeing and Environment Committee Chairman Tan Chen Choon said the Johor government would continue to monitor illegal dumping sites in the state.

He said a special committee under the Iskandar Puteri Municipal Council (MPIB) had been set up to monitor the matter.

“We are also encouraging other local government authorities to set up their own task force to detect illegal waste disposal sites and illegal dumping of solid waste in their respective areas," he told reporters after an integrated operation on three factories in Pasir Gudang, recently.

In Terengganu, no illegal waste disposal sites has been detected  so far, said the State Local Government, Housing, Health and Environment Committee chairman Dr Alias ​​Razak.

He attributed it to the prompt action taken by local government authorities upon receiving complaints on illegal dumping by the public.

In KUANTAN, Pahang Tourism, Environment, Plantation and Biotechnology Committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsuddin said he had not received any complaints on large scale illegal waste dumping site in the state.

He said the state government welcomed public tip-offs on illegal waste dumping so that immediate action could be taken.

Those with information could lodge their complaints directly to Mohd Sharkar, or through the Menteri Besar’s portal at aduan.wanrosdy.com, or the local authorities in their respective districts.

In KOTA BHARU, the Kelantan Local Government, Housing and Health Committee chairman Dr Izani Husin said he would seek detailed information on the  presence of illegal waste dumping ground, if any, in the state.

“The state government views the matter seriously, especially in terms of cleanliness and hygiene, to avoid incidents like the Sungai Kim-Kim  tragedy in Johor and the death of the Orang Asli from the Bateq tribe in Gua Musang from happening again," he said.

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