Proposal for Johore State and Federal Governments to jointly host a Conference on Environmental Issues after three recent environment disasters in the state

Together with the DAP State Assemblyman for Skudai, Tan Hong Pin, I want to thank Sdr. Tan Chen Choon, the Johore Exco for Local Government, Urban Wellbeing and Environment, and the Fire and Rescue Department for the briefing on the week-long bush fire which had destroyed about 16 ha of forest in Kampung Pekajang along Jalan Tanjong Kupang

I commend the Fire and Rescue Department officers and personnel for their dedication in fighting the bush fire for the past week.

In the past few months, South Johore has been hit by three environmental disasters, firstly the Sungei Kim Kim toxic pollution, which occurred on 7th March 2019 and caused by illegal chemical waste dumping. The illegal dumping released toxic fumes, affecting 6,000 people and hospitalising 2,775. Most of the victims were school students—110 schools were subsequently closed along the river.

The second environmental disaster was the air pollution in Pasir Gudang in June, which sent many people living near factories, including school children, to hospital for treatment after inhaling toxic fumes.

The third is the week-long bush fire in Kampong Pekajang, Iskandar Puteri, which has led to the closure of two nearby schools.

These three environmental disasters in Johore within five months this year must be taken seriously by both the Federal and Johore State governments.

The time has clearly come for environment in Johore to be given top priority, and for this reason, I have suggested to Chen Choon to propose organising a joint Federal-Johore State Government Conference on Environment both to highlight the environmental issues in the state as well as to pave the way for a blueprint to ensure environmental quality in Johore State.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri