Former Johor menteri besar Mohamed Khaled Nordin has welcomed his successor Dr Shahruddin Jamal's apology for the pollution incidents in Pasir Gudang during a townhall session.
However, the Umno vice-president said there are still several issues which must be explained.
“Most importantly, when will the state government reveal the names of the parties who are accused of being irresponsible (resulting in the pollution incidents)?” he asked in a statement this afternoon.
Apart from this, Khaled also questioned the state government's plans and strategies to manage this incident.
“Will there be compensation for the victims and their families from the responsible parties? Will the state government or federal government channel help to the victims and their families?” he asked.
Apart from the possibility of moving factories from Pasir Gudang to another area, Khaled said the menteri besar did not outline a plan on how to strengthen management and monitoring efforts by the authorities to ensure such incidents do not recur.
He also cited the lack of details on the plan to rehabilitate the industrial area.
“I hope the menteri besar understands that a mere apology would not fix the situation and resolve the problem,” he added.
At yesterday's townhall session, Sahruddin said the development planned not long ago in this area did not take into consideration the long-term consequences on residents.
However, he said finger-pointing would not solve the problem, and reiterated that the state government would prevent such incidents from reoccurring in the future.
According to Sahruddin, the state government has initiated various preventive measures to safeguard the health and security of residents and ensure that they receive due assistance.
On July 14, over 100 victims lodged a police report to urge authorities to initiate a comprehensive probe into the twin Pasir Gudang pollution 'outbreaks' in March and June.
Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climatic Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said earlier that month that the government would not approve new applications for the construction of chemical plants in Pasir Gudang.
Last week, the Johor exco for local government, urban wellbeing and environment Tan Chen Choon said that 67 factories were operating without licence in Pasir Gudang.
Tan added that of these, 46 were given warnings, eight will be subjected to court action, three were sealed, and two ordered to close.