The outburst was caused by an illegal chemical waste was dumping at Kim Kim River on the morning of March 6. Consequently, three suspects have been brought in by the authorities.
Despite the announcement made by Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin that a tyre recycling factory owner (one among the three suspects) would be charged today, there apparently has been a delay in the legal process.
According to Johor Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee chairman Dr Sahruddin Jamal, the delay is due to the request for more information in the investigation papers that has been sent to Deputy Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Ayer Hitam MP Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong is questioning Yeo Bee Yin’s failure to handle the matter when the chemical outbreak first occurred and raised the issue in Parliament, as reported by The Star.
Backing Wee’s statements are the netizens, who are calling the government out for the slow response regarding the serious issue.
Investigated under Section 34B of the Environmental Quality Act 1974, the people responsible for the illegal chemical dumping will face maximum imprisonment of five years and a fine of RM 500,000 if found guilty.
In disagreement with the punishment, netizens have also voiced out their dissatisfaction.
On a more pressing note, Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian has refused to declare a state of emergency, leaving the people angry with the decision.
Osman’s statement that evacuation was not needed for the people of Pasir Gudang as “the house doors can be shut” has made the matter worse.
It seems like no matter what the government does to find a solution to this issue, the netizens will still see it as “failures”.