JOHOR BAHRU: Two Singaporean men appeared in court on Tuesday (Dec 3) as the Pasir Gudang chemical dumping case got under way in Malaysia.
Wan Jing Chao, 34, and Sim Wei Der, 50, appeared in court on Tuesday morning along with N Maridass and Yap Loke Liang, two other people accused in the case.
The two Singaporeans had been charged earlier this year in connection with the chemical pollution of Sungai Kim Kim in Pasir Gudang in the southern state of Johor.
The illegal dumping of chemicals into the river in Johor had led to thousands of people being taken ill and the temporary closure of more than a hundred schools in Pasir Gudang.
Maridass, a lorry driver at a used tyre processing company, was charged in March with disposing waste into the river.
The other three, who were company directors, were charged with abetting the lorry driver in the disposal of this waste.
They were also accused of failing to conduct air quality monitoring and failing to notify the authorities about the waste disposal.
The offences were allegedly committed at the Sungai Kim Kim bridge-widening project site on Mar 7.
If found guilty, the directors face a maximum punishment of five years’ jail and RM500,000 fine.
WASTE CLASSIFIED AS OIL SLUDGE
The waste in the pollution incident has been classified as oil sludge, a type of scheduled waste, the court was told.
An official from Malaysia's environment department told the judge the classification of the waste was made after looking at an analysis report provided by the chemistry department, looking at the chemical properties contained in the waste and then looking at the process by which it was produced.
When asked about the other chemical properties found in the chemical analysis report the official, Ir Azlan Ahmad, said there was xylene, toluene and ethylbenzene which are oil-based, besides the chemical d-limonene.
When asked by defence lawyer G Subramaniam Nair whether he had physically examined the presence of the chemicals before classifying the waste, Azlan said he had not.