DENGKIL: The Negeri Sembilan state government has been urged to set politics aside and help to solve the water crisis.
Seremban MP Anthony Loke Siew Fook accused the menteri besar Mohamad Hassan for allegedly refusing to cooperate with the Selangor state government.
Loke added Hassan had said there was no evidence proving the contamination of Selangor’s water supplies had originated from Negeri Sembilan.
“I urge him, whether you have proof or not, let’s settle the problem first. Don’t politicise the matter. It’s not a political issue,” Loke told reporters in a press conference at Sungai Buah.
Subang Jaya assemblywoman Hannah Yeoh echoed similar sentiments, pointing out that the people are suffering immensely due to the water crisis.
“The people are suffering and this is not the time to play politics. The water crisis affects everyone who supports Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Harapan. Put politics aside and help!” she said.
Negeri Sembilan is run by Barisan Nasional while Pakatan Harapan controls the Selangor state government.
Selangor state executive councillor Elizabeth Wong of PKR maintained that the source of the contamination originated from Negeri Sembilan.
However, she said that the Negeri Sembilan state government had refused to treat the contaminated water, or even allow Selangor water officials to offer their help.
“This is not right. That’s when we decided to go into Negeri Sembilan and treat the water ourselves. The state said that we are encroaching into their territory if we go in there and treat the water. But we don’t care. Come and arrest us. Our whole team is willing to go to jail.”
The Selangor water board is treating the contaminated water with activated carbon, which is commonly found in household water filters.
Bunds have also been built across the affected river in order to control the flow of water.
Wong said that the chemical compound 4-bromodiphenyl ether had been found in the contaminated water and could not be diluted or eliminated except with activated carbon.
Wong said ‘even the Environment Department of Negeri Sembilan had put protective sheets on the affected area’ indicating that ‘they know they have a problem’.
She said the Natural Resources and Environment minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar had acknowledged that there was contamination in the source water from Nilai and that it was not likely to have been an accident.
She urged the Negeri Sembilan state government to excavate the contaminated area. “The pollutant is somewhere in the system and in the soil. That’s why we are still having problems.”