Malaysiakini Letter

Way forward from the chemical crisis in Pasir Gudang

Steven Choong  |  Published:

LETTER | I noted that the Johor government has the intention to relocate the factories in Pasir Gudang to other locations yet to be identified. Since the locations have not been identified, it is not too late for the state exco to reconsider the plan.

I applaud Menteri Besar Osman Sapian over his concern for the wellness of the  Pasir Gudang residents after the recent chemical crisis. However, I would like to urge the state exco to take the following factors into consideration before a final decision is made:

  • Who is going to bear the cost of buying new land, build the new factory, dismantling and reinstalling the machine?
  • A lot of structure that machines are fixed to can't be dismantled and reassembled, so cost will be like setting up a new factory.
  • The availability of workers in the new locations. The existing work force can't be reallocated and the management team also may not move with the factory reallocation because of children's education and spouse's working location.
  • The impact on the existing population who relied on the work opportunity in Pasir Gudang. Any plan to ensure the existing working population in Pasir Gudang will continue to be employed?
  • What about the subcontractors and local suppliers who service the existing factories? Many can't move because of cost and family constraint.

I am sure Osman will be well guided to ensure not only is the wellness of the residents are ensured but also their livelihood.

As a way forward, the state exco and the various federal and state agencies must step up their enforcement and monitoring of all manufacturing activities in all areas not only in Pasir Gudang to ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements to ensure the safety and health of workers and residents are not compromised.

All future developments must balance between economic expansion, environmental protection and preservation and the wellness of the people to ensure everything is sustainable.

The writer is the MP for Tebrau.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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