Ong Ka Ting should call off the Broga/ Semenyih incinerator now that the No Incinerator Action Committee has proof to show that even the site itself is highly unsafe and vulnerable

Press Statement
by Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew

(Petaling Jaya, Friday): Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting should call off the RM1.5 billion incinerator in Broga/Semenyi now that the No Incinerator Action Committee led by Professor Halil Hussein has presented solid evidence to the BN government.

Yesterday, the action committee presented their findings and evidence to the Acting Prime Minister, government backbenchers and opposition MPs in the Parliament today. They have also evidence to show that the government has contravened its own rules by two counts; not only they have given the mega incinerator contract to Ebara of Japan on Feb 7 this year, they have also started clearing the proposed site. Even a bridge is near completion on the access road to the site (see photos supplied by the action committee).

Only a week ago, both the minister and the director -general of the Housing and Local Government Ministry have said that its ministry would not start any work (except for land survey and soil investigation) before approval of the relevant EIA report. Ong must now explain to the people why its ministry has ordered the incinerator from Ebara and also started works on the proposed project without an EIA approval.

The action committee has maps and documents to prove that the proposed site for the world's biggest incinerator is very much in the centre of the Semenyih water catchment area, which was classified as environmentally sensitive area (kawasan sensitif alam sekitar) by the Selangor State government (reference: Beranang/ Semenyih/ Kajang Local Draft Plan 2000-2010). Only recreational and educational activities are allowed in such environmentally sensitive areas.

Semenyih River happens to be one of the largest and most important sources of water supply in the Klang Valley. At least 333 housing and industrial areas, spreading from Semenyih to Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam, Puchong, Kuala Lumpur and even Putrajaya will be severely effected if the water from the Semenyih River and other tributaries were contaminated by the cancer-causing dioxin and other poisonous discharge from the incinerator.

The committee also found that the average gradient at the proposed hilly site was more than 25 degrees, which means no structures or buildings should be allowed according to the bylaws stipulated by the Selangor State Government. The Selangor government would appear as going against its own law if it proceeds to build the mega incinerator in Broga/Semenyih.

It's also pointless for the Malaysian government to ratify Agenda 21, Local Agenda 21 and frequently talk about "sustainable development" if its leaders time and again choose to ignore the voice and aspirations of the ordinary people.

DAP has always been saying NO to incinerators simply because no incinerators is safe, and the cost of building and maintaining one is exorbitant. The cost of incineration is estimated as more than RM125 a tonne, which is much higher than the current landfill method (about RM25 per tonne) .It is not something we Malaysians could afford in the long run, whether it is environmentally or economically.

The experts have put 80% of the total solid waste generated by Malaysians as organic waste. Incineration is therefore unnecessary and certainly not practical in the whole equation of solid waste management in the country.

What the government should really do is to look for other alternatives for solid waste management, and be more serious and professional in promoting the 3R concept- Reduce, Recycle, Reuse.

Dioxin-producing incinerators are like cancer factories. The last thing Malaysians want is building "cancer factory" for our future generations!


* Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew, DAP National Publicity Secretary and Selangor State Secretary