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The Malaysian government, relenting to public pressure, has agreed to relocate the controversial RM1.5 billion thermal incinerator to Broga, a small town near Semenyih about 40km south of Kuala Lumpur.

Several highly-placed sources in the Housing and Local Government Ministry said the decision was made at yesterday's Cabinet meeting. A formal announcement on the relocation is expected soon.

Meanwhile the national news agency Bernama today quoted Housing and Local Government Minister Ong Ka Ting as saying that the relocation was due to protest from residents although the incinerator uses the latest Japanese gasitification technology which has been proven to be safe

Sources told malaysiakini the decision to relocate the incinerator was made after authorities failed to reach a compromise with the residents in Puchong and surrounding areas who did not want the incinerator in their backyard even if capacity was reduced from1,500 tonnes to 600 tonnes of waste per day.

"Although the residents got what they wanted, they will have to bear the high transportation cost, which was the very reason why the plant was proposed in Kampung Bohol," one of the sources warned.

"Looks like they are willing to pay more for purely selfish reasons and for refusing to help the government resolve the waste management problem."

According to the ministry, Malaysia produces 16,000 tonnes of waste per day which fills out available landfills space fast. The country's 230 landfills are scheduled for shutdown in two years' time.

When contacted today, Mohktar Dahlan, Selangor exco member for local government, housing and squatters and environment, confirmed the federal government's decision to relocate the incinerator plant from Kampung Bohol to Broga.

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