Johor Sultan wants culprits responsible for Pasir Gudang toxic fumes punished

Ben Tan
As of Monday night, it was reported that a total of 207 people have been affected by illegal dumping of chemical waste into the river. — Picture by Roysten Rueben

JOHOR BARU, March 12 — Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar today expressed his anger at those responsible for the chemical pollution in Sungai Kim Kim, Pasir Gudang, which resulted in some 300 people being hospitalised after they inhaled the fumes.

He wants the authorities to conduct a full-scale investigation to bring the culprits to the book immediately.

“These are innocent schoolchildren, teachers and health workers... Don’t those responsible feel any remorse at the thought that children in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) are fighting for their lives?

“These are my rakyat and I will not let this matter go unanswered. I urge all government agencies to apprehend and punish the culprits immediately,” said Sultan Ibrahim in a statement on his official Facebook page.

The statement following the second wave of students affected by methane and benzene fumes emitted from the illegally dumped chemical waste yesterday.

As of Monday night, it was reported that a total of 207 people have been affected by illegal dumping of chemical waste into the river.

Sultan Ibrahim also expressed his appreciation and gratitude to all medical personnel attending to the victims.

He advised the public, specifically residents living in the affected area, to be extra vigilant and to seek immediate treatment if they feel unwell.

“Schools also should not be opened until the situation is completely safe for students and teachers. I also urge residents to stay indoors as much as possible,” added Sultan Ibrahim.

Last Thursday, two schools were ordered to be evacuated and closed after students were taken ill from breathing in the fumes from the river.

After a clean-up, the two schools reopened yesterday morning but by noon, it was closed again after students reported having breathing difficulties after the chemicals in the river had emitted fumes believed triggered by the hot weather.

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