Kepong incinerator: Easy solution but not necessarily safe

kepung-incineratorBy Tajuddin Ramlee

Why are residents not involved in the feedback process for the incinerator in Kepong? I live within 5km from the proposed site. I am very worried, and I am a parent with four school-going children.

I have researched the issue of the project and it is a fact, not just opinion, that incinerators are not what developed countries prefer. They are moving away from it.

Cities in the US and Canada have rejected new incinerators and are closing down old ones. This is the west, where there is more concern about the environment. How can we ignore their example?

If incinerators are viable options, they must be proven first. Not just used without proper evaluation, and proper controls. This is a very serious matter. It needs proper planning.

I can see that DRB-Hicom is leading the race to win this contract. I am saying this, because there are press reports that they are using foreign technology, Japanese technology to be exact, for this purpose.

This is great, but they have been having some disagreements with the company Sumitomo from Japan, which are their partners in other projects. This has also been reported.

If DRB-Hicom wins the contract, what technology will they be using? I am very concerned. My grandparents are from Papan, Perak, and we all know what happened there in the 1980s when waste management went wrong.

There are so many things that can go wrong in Kepong too, and the authorities should act in the best interests of the people, and show us why they are choosing the right thing for the rest of us.

DRB-Hicom is a big company with many businesses. I am sure if they are not awarded this contract they can still be profitable.

Why not consider other ways to clear waste? We can all produce less waste and we can recycle.

The incinerator project looks like an easy solution, but easy solutions are not necessarily safe over time. It is a large investment and the people investing in the project will make sure the project goes on even if it is failing, which is why there has to be more interest and discussions before this gets launched.

It will be too late then. I am sure so many other people agree with me, because we have so many residential areas here – there is a “taman” every kilometre in any direction. I know many of my fellow residents are not making noise yet, but they will when they know this project is up and running, I am very sure of that.

In the meantime, I hope someone is listening.

Tajuddin Ramlee is an FMT reader.

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