JOHOR BAHRU: A Singaporean and two Malaysians were charged on Sunday (Mar 24) over the illegal dumping of chemicals into Sungai Kim Kim in Pasir Gudang, local media reported.
According to The Star Online, Singaporean Wang Jing Chao, 34, and Malaysian Yap Yoke Liang, 36, directors of a used tyre-processing company, are accused of conspiring with lorry driver N Maridass, 35, who allegedly disposed of chemicals illegally into Sungai Kim Kim on Mar 7.
All three pleaded not guilty when the charges were read before Judge Hakim Jailani Rahman, said the report. It added that they are set to face further charges.
The trio were charged in the Sessions Court in Johor Bahru under Section 34B(1)(a) of the Environment Quality Act 1974, while Yap and Wang were also charged under Section 42 of the same Act.
They face sentencing under Section 34B(4) of the Act.
Meanwhile, another Singaporean man is wanted by police to assist with investigations.
The man, who has been identified as 49-year-old Sim Wei Dee, is another registered director of the tyre-processing factory.
Johor police chief Mohd Khalil Kaded Mohd said they were "awaiting assistance from our counterparts in Singapore to arrest him", Bernama reported.
In a statement on Sunday, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said it had been in touch with the Royal Malaysia Police and were waiting for an official request for assistance.
"The Singapore Police Force is in touch with the Royal Malaysia Police, and are awaiting the latter’s official request for assistance," said SPF. "We are unable to comment further as investigations by the Malaysian authorities are ongoing.”
The toxic waste pollution at Pasir Gudang affected thousands in the area, causing a wave of poisoning cases.
All 111 schools in the Pasir Gudang area were closed following the incident and will reopen on Mar 31.