Water pollution cases weren’t sent to us, says AG

(FMT) – Attorney-General Idrus Harun said today Selangor had never referred any water pollution cases to his department, and he described allegations by the state’s menteri besar, Amirudin Shari as being “baseless and untrue”.

Amirudin had said earlier today that the Attorney-General’s Chambers had failed to act on the state government’s investigations into the pollution of waterways in the state in April.

But Idrus said in a statement this evening that in fact, the AGC was only informed about an investigation paper being opened by the relevant agencies, and that the investigation paper was being completed before it was to be handed over to the AGC.

“Therefore the Selangor menteri besar’s claim that no action had been taken by the AGC on the water pollution in April is untrue and baseless,” Idrus said.

Idrus added that the Selangor Environment Department had issued a RM60,000 compound fine on factory owners Yip Chee Seng & Sons Sdn Bhd, an action that was taken “without any investigation paper being sent to the AGC”.

Amirudin had said that his government had had a difficult time in completing investigations into the pollution in April “but subsequently there was no further action taken by the attorney-general”.

Water pollution of Sungai Selangor caused four water treatment plants to be temporarily shut down last April, leading to disruption of water supply to residents in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling, Klang, Shah Alam, Kuala Selangor, Hulu Selangor, Gombak and Kuala Langat.

Amirudin had said the state government did not have the power to charge those responsible for water pollution. “Only the environment and water ministry could take such action against these offenders under the Environmental Quality Act 1974, which is federal law,” he said.