34 students among 171 suing govt, others over Sungai Kim Kim pollution

The plaintiffs are are claiming damages for toxic gas inhalation following the pollution in Sungai Kim Kim. (Bernama pic)

JOHOR BAHRU: Thirty-four students are among 171 people suing the Johor state government, then menteri besar Osman Sapian and 10 others over the pollution in Sungai Kim Kim near Pasir Gudang last March.

The plaintiffs are claiming RM30 million in damages.

Former state health, environment and agriculture committee chairman Dr Sahruddin Jamal, former state environment department director Dr Mohammad Ezanni Mat Saleh and state drainage and irrigation director Che Mohd Dahan Che Jusof are also named in the lawsuit.

Other defendants are Pasir Gudang municipal council president Zainor Adani, environment department director-general Dr Ahmad Kamarul Najuib Che Ibrahim, the Malaysian Government, P Tech Resources Sdn Bhd, and three individuals, N Maridass, Yap Yoke Liang and Wang Jing Choa.

The latter three defendants have already been charged in court for offences in connection with the pollution.

The plaintiffs’ lawyer Kamarudin Ahmad said 34 students and eight members of the public were seeking an order to compel the state government to pay health examination costs for each of them for three years starting from the judgment date.

They also want an order for the state government to pay for their medical treatment for 10 years from the date of judgment should they suffer medical issues related to the pollution.

According to the lawyer, the other 129, all fishermen, from seven villages are claiming special damages of between RM15,000 and RM30,000 each. The fishermen allege that the pollution had adversely affected their earnings as the public did not want to buy fish caught in Sungai Kim Kim.

The suit was filed through Messrs Kamarudin & Partners at the Johor Bahru High Court at 3pm yesterday via e-filing.

“The students and fishermen are claiming damages for toxic gas inhalation following the pollution in Sungai Kim Kim, as a result of which they suffered symptoms such as vomiting, headache, coughing, fever, breathing difficulties, chest and throat pain.

“The plaintiffs said they suffer persistent muscle strain in their hands and legs, and high toxic levels in the blood,” he told reporters at the High Court compound here today. He was accompanied by about 35 plaintiffs.

Kamarudin said the suit would be brought for case management within three months while the trial would probably start in November.