JOHOR BAHRU: The Johor director of the Department of Environment (DoE) Mohammad Ezanni Mat Salleh has been transferred to the energy, science, technology, environment and climate change ministry effective April 1.
His transfer has drawn a protest from Permas state assemblyman Che Zakaria Mohd Salleh, who expressed his disagreement as he felt Ezanni could have done much more.
The protest has raised questions as to whether Ezanni’s transfer was linked to the chemical pollution of Sungai Kim Kim, which was said to have been poorly managed by the Johor Department of Environment, Bernama reported.
Nearly 6,000 people, including many students, fell sick after chemicals were dumped into the river.
Three people, including a driver and two directors of a used tyre processing company, have been charged with the offence.
Ezanni, who confirmed the transfer with Bernama, said this followed his promotion as head of the National Toxic Waste Management and Scheduled Discharge Unit.
“Yes, it’s true that I was transferred but this transfer is a positive thing, not negative.
“I received information on the transfer last week and in fact, I am already in Putrajaya now,” he said.
This committee has been established by the government to draft standard operating procedures for chemical pollution disasters.
It will decide on any issues related to toxic waste management in future.