Be strict with errant factories, rep tells Selangor govt

Villagers protest against an aluminium smelting factory in Sri Cheeding, Kuala Langat, which they claim has been discharging toxic fumes.

PETALING JAYA: An assemblyman has urged the Selangor government not to be lenient with factories which misuse their licences to process items they are not supposed to.

Sijangkang assemblyman Ahmad Yunus Hairi said discharge from these factories was polluting the environment and affecting the health of residents living nearby.

He said enforcement by the authorities was insufficient to address the problem, adding that he had repeatedly voiced his concerns in the state assembly but the factories had been allowed to operate as usual.

“I am not against development as long as it abides by the law but if it affects the people and the environment, then we must stop it.

“The government has to be strict with the factories. We are being too lenient.

“Some of the factories are misusing their permits to process items that they are not supposed to. The solution is to revoke their licences and relocate those factories that are categorised as heavy industries,” he told FMT.

Ahmad said he was aware that many factories in his constituency were still operating despite being told to stop operations.

On Saturday, about 50 villagers at Sri Cheeding in Kuala Langat held a peaceful protest to demand the closure of an aluminium smelting factory allegedly discharging toxic fumes as the smoke coming out the chimney had caused them breathing problems.

Several complaints were filed with the Selangor Department of Environment (DoE), following which the department told the factory to halt all operations for two weeks.

The DoE said the factory could only resume its business if it meets air quality standards.

A similar protest was held in Kampung Jenjarom, where a lead acid battery manufacturing plant was alleged to be causing high pollution levels.

Ahmad said the authorities should not be entirely blamed for the problem.

He said the factories should be also responsible for ensuring that their operations meet industry standards.

“There is no way for the local authorities to constantly monitor them, night and day,” he said.

He also urged the Industrial Park Management Community to play its part in regulating factory operations.

“It is best to relocate factories, especially those considered heavy industries, from the middle of residential areas,” he said.