Pasir Gudang pollution: Students from 4 schools fall ill; Johor looks to relocate high-risk chemical factories

Pasir Gudang pollution: Students from 4 schools fall ill; Johor looks to relocate high-risk chemical factories

JOhor chief minister Sahruddin Jamal
Johor chief minister Sahruddin Jamal. (Photo: Bernama) 

JOHOR BAHRU: At least 11 students at four Pasir Gudang schools were reported to have suffered headaches, nausea and vomiting on Sunday (Jul 7), a week after more than 100 people were sent for medical treatment.

Johor chief minister Dr Sahruddin Jamal also announced on Sunday that the state government is looking into relocating high-risk chemical factories.

The affected students were from Kota Masai 2 National School, Taman Nusa Damai National Secondary School, Tanjung Puteri Resort National Secondary School and Pasir Putih National Secondary School. Students from all four schools had previously been treated for the same symptoms.

State Health, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Mohd Khuzzan Abu Bakar said the affected students were sent to rest at the schools’ sick bays. They were not sent for screening or treatment at the Pasir Gudang and Masai health clinics.

There were no new patients being warded at the hospital, he said, adding that the situation was still under control.

READ: Malaysia will not allow new chemical plants to be built in Pasir Gudang, says minister

READ: Comprehensive solution needed for Pasir Gudang pollution problem: Malaysia DPM Wan Azizah

RELOCATING CHEMICAL FACTORIES

Johor chief minister Dr Sahruddin said the government is studying the possibility of relocating high-risk chemical factories and creating a buffer zone between industrial and residential areas.

It will form part of a sustainable town development plan for Pasir Gudang that is being developed as a long-term measure to address environmental pollution in the area, he announced at the Johor State Assembly.

The chief minister also refuted claims that he had not taken the pollution issue in Pasir Gudang serious, saying that the state had allocated RM6.4 million for the cleaning of toxic waste in Sungai Kim Kim.

To monitor the pollution situation in the area, the government will also set up two committees that will meet periodically and report directly to the state's Local Government, Urban Wellbeing and Environment Committee chairman every month, he added.

The Technical and Scientific Working Committee, comprising representatives from various technical departments and experts from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), will coordinate, monitor and track the situation in Pasir Gudang.

READ: 'Despicable and a total disgrace', says Johor Sultan after second wave of air pollution

Another monitoring committee will be represented by elected representatives, non-governmental organisations, Parent-Teacher Associations and the Pasir Gudang Emergency Mutual Aid, to provide the latest status on pollution in Pasir Gudang.

Mr Mohd Khuzzan said the Department of Environment has conducted inspections of the 212 factories in Pasir Gudang and has issued 108 sites with scheduled waste offences, 10 sites with industrial effluence and one site over its sewage. Fifty-one directives, 11 stop-work orders and three court action proposals were also made.

He urged the public to report to the department if they see or suspect illegal toxic waste being dumped in their area.

Source: Bernama/jt

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