Professor Ir Dr Dominic Foo was interviewed by the online media channel Pocketimes to discuss the water pollution problem that plagued many Selangor residents in September 2020.
When being asked to comment about the water pollution problems in the country, such as the chemical dumping at Kim Kim River at Pasir Gudang (March 2019) and the recent Gong River pollution (September 2020), Professor Foo said that this was actually the tip of the iceberg.
He went on to explain that many factories in the country have been practising illegal waste dumping in the country for a long time now. These cases did not usually make headlines because the dumped chemicals were usually diluted by river water, when they are small in quantity.
When asked that the factory that caused the pollution in Sungai Gong that had been fined for RM60,000 and why despite warnings, repeated the same practise, Professor Foo said this was probably caused by many factors. He said Malaysia is a business-friendly country, hence the authorities are too lenient in many instances.
When a factory is found to have infringed the law, it may get a fine, but usually is not too big an amount for a first-time offence. Even if they want to install a proper waste treatment facility, there are many considerations. First of all, it is not cheap. For big corporations, waste treatment fees is part of the budget. However, this is not the case for small-medium enterprises. The cost of a treatment facility can range from a few hundred thousand to millions of ringgit!
Professor Foo commented that as a layperson, we will have to do our part. If we do not wish to see any illegal dumping, we will have to practise the same in our daily lives. Some simple practices include the proper disposal of waste. We may also become the watchdog, to report the illegal waste dumping whenever we see it happening.
The recording of Prof Foo’s full interview can be accessed through the Youtube portal.
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Posted on 22nd September 2020