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Malaysia investigating claims of black patches detected in Johor's Sungai Kim Kim

Malaysia investigating claims of black patches detected in Johor's Sungai Kim Kim

An aerial view of Kim Kim River. (Photo: Bernama)

KLUANG, Johor: Malaysia’s Environment and Water Minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man on Monday (Mar 8) said that his ministry has instructed the relevant departments - including the Environment Department (DOE) - to investigate claims of black patches polluting Sungai Kim Kim.

The minister also said that water samples have been taken and drones have been deployed to monitor the affected river stretch to identify the source of the black patches.

"We do not want a recurrence of the toxic waste dumping incident so as soon as we received the report yesterday, DOE officers were instructed to visit the site at Sungai Kim Kim this morning.

“We hope the Sungai Kim Kim incident will serve as a lesson (to all) and I wish to reiterate that the ministry will not compromise in enforcing the law against anyone when it comes to pollution issues.

"We will also take stern action against any factory that releases their industrial wastes into rivers causing water pollution," Tuan Ibrahim told reporters.

He was responding to claims by residents of Kampung Bukit Pulai in Pasir Gudang that black patches have been detected in the river.

The results of the water sample analyses are expected to be in by today or tomorrow, he added.

Sunday marked the second anniversary of the toxic dumping tragedy which affected thousands of schoolchildren and the community in Pasir Gudang.

On Mar 7, 2019, several students and teachers experienced nausea, dizziness and vomiting after they were believed to have inhaled toxic fumes caused by chemicals dumped into Sungai Kim Kim.

The pollution resulted in the temporary closure of 111 schools in the Pasir Gudang area, affecting several industries and the lives of the community in the area for about two weeks.

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