The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar has called on the government to immediately step up enforcement and control against all factories using toxic chemicals.
This is to ensure that the March 7 incident where chemcial wastes were dumped into Sungai Kim Kim, Pasir Gudang, was not repeated.
He said any factory that failed to comply with safety and environmental management regulations should be ordered to be closed immediately.
"And in the long run, I want the government to review the types of industries available in Pasir Gudang by closing or shifting gas and chemical industries which can easily cause explosions and are harmful to people who live in its surroundings.
"Learn from the lessons of the 1984 gas explosion in Bhopal, India, that claimed more than 3,000 lives and the over 500,000 people who suffered from the inhalation of toxic chemicals," said the Johor Sultan in his speech to mark his official birthday ceremony at the Dewan Singgahsana Istana Besar, in Johor Bahru today.
The speech was then shared by the Royal Press Office (RPO) on the Sultan’s official Facebook and Instagram website.
Sultan Ibrahim added that with the Sungai Kim Kim incident affecting so many residents, he felt there was an urgent need to build a government hospital close to the area.
"I hear that this was already being planned by the government. Therefore, I hope the (hospital) construction will be carried out soon.
"I believe that Johor is one of the major contributors to the federal revenue. It is therefore fair and appropriate if more development allocations are channeled to the state, especially to upgrade the facilities of health services, public transport and highway networks,” he said.