Media Statement
By DAP National Publicity Bureau Assistant Secretary and DAP Kg. Bohol Incinerator Community Awareness Campaign Committee Secretary, John Chung
in Petaling Jaya
on Friday, 27th September 2002

The Government should put on hold the construction of the Kg. Bohol incinerator and examine the serious health concerns of such a project 

Yesterday, Deputy Minister in the Prime Ministerís Department, Tengku Azlan Sultan Abu Bakar announced that the tender for the RM1.4 billion incinerator project in Kg. Bohol, Puchong would be finalised soon. (The Star) 

He said that the contract for the project would be given out soon as three Japanese contractors, namely Ebara Corporation, Hitachi Zosen Corporation and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd, had been shortlisted for the tender. 

This disclosure is very worrying indeed as it shows the Governmentís apparent intention of proceeding with the construction of the incinerator in Kg. Bohol despite the many objections raised by the local community concerning the health effects of the incinerator. 

The Government should take cognisance of the strong protests of 130,000 local residents who have signed a petition opposing the construction of the incinerator and not arbitrarily dismiss their concerns by going ahead with the project. 

A detailed study of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report on the project concerned would reveal many glaring and disturbing flaws and weaknesses, which if not addressed, will have grave repercussions on the health of a staggering one million residents (about 4% of the Malaysian population) living within a 5-7 km radius from the earmarked site. 

Some of the worrying aspects are: 

  1. The report provides only for a 500m buffer zone and fails to take into account residents staying within a 7.5km radius as per international standard. The fact that the report recommended the relocation of the nearby Kinrara Army Hospital and Army Residential Area clearly shows the danger posed by the project. Yet, the same report did not consider the health impact of the incinerator on the school children of a Tamil primary school located in the same area. 

  2. The data in the report are based on similar treatment plants in Japan which are capable of treating only 100-240 tonnes of waste per day, whereas the proposed incinerator (one of the biggest in the region) has a maximum capacity of treating 1,500 tonnes of waste per day. In fact, the report admitted that there are no existing data for a plant of this size in the world. The fluidized bed technology that will be used for the gasification and ash melting system of the plant is also an unproven one.  

  3. The report also admitted that from official records obtained, there are serious respiratory-related problems amongst adults and children in the area. The incinerator would only worsen an already unhealthy area!  

In view of this, the Housing and Local Government Ministry, which is overseeing the project, should not proceed with the construction until and unless it addresses the many questionable aspects of the project.  

Due to threat to health posed by the emission of dioxin and other toxic gases from incinerators, such waste treatment plants should be located outside an urban zone and not right smack in the middle of a densely populated area. 

The authorities must realise that we cannot afford such a costly experiment like the Kg. Bohol incinerator project, as the long-term health and well being of too many people are at stake.  

I therefore urge the authorities concerned to shelf the tendering of the contract for the project and heed the calls from various quarters to relocate the incinerator to a site safely away from residential areas.