BANGI, Malaysia: There is a need for a long-term plan to resolve the pollution problems in Pasir Gudang in a comprehensive manner to prevent a recurrence of such incidents, said Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail on Sunday (Jun 30).
She said a long-term solution was necessary as the pollution issue had affected the health of residents in the area.
"After these incidents, the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change had implemented several short-term measures, including building automatic gas monitoring stations in the area.
"This is good because it gives warning once the amount of toxic materials in the air has exceeded the critical level, enabling immediate action to be taken including evacuating residents,” she told reporters after an event.
But this could not provide a comprehensive solution in the long run because of the centralised location of factories and their proximity to residential areas, she said.
Dr Wan Azizah said the government might have to think of ways to resettle the residents with the consent of the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar.
She said the factor of economic output by the manufacturing industry in the area should also be considered when drawing up the long-term plan.
"With regard to the factories, we need to consider the economy and how it can help and be managed appropriately,” she said.
Sultan Ibrahim has expressed his displeasure over the chemical dumping and air pollution incidents which hit Pasir Gudang this year and has ordered the authorities to take quick action to overcome the problems, including arresting and punishing the culprits.