Second 2-paged advertisements by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government continues to hoodwink the Malaysian public that incineration is clean and safe


Media Statement
by Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew

(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): The Ministry of Housing and Local Government under the ministership of MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting put up a second 2-paged advertisement in all major newspapers yesterday, aiming at convincing the Malaysian public that incineration is the way to go.

The first page carried a headline that says " What a waste! It now costs more than RM400 million a year to treat trash". The second full colour page again carried an illustration of an incinerator, with a headline that says " Achieving 0% open dumps by 2020".

These advertisements were being used to hoodwink the Malaysian public that the proposed RM1.5 billion Broga incinerator is clean and safe, with a better control of dioxin formation. The campaign once again confirms that a fluidised bed gasification and ash melting thermal treatment plant will be built in Broga. Those who follow the issue closely would have known by now that a company which is in dire straits (Ebara Corporation of Japan) was given the contract to design and build the world's largest incinerator, with a capacity of treating 1,500 tonnes per day, and a life-span of around 21 years.

What this advertising campaign fails to inform the Malaysian public is:

  • Incineration method is the most expensive method to treat trash. The cost of burning trash has been estimated to be around RM240 per tonne. Malaysians will be forced to pay a very high price in the form of assessment and quit rent eventually

  • Incinerator is like a cancer factory. Incineration will inevitably produce dioxin, a cancer causing agent and other poisonous elements such as lead and mercury. Incineration would certainly push the number of cancer cases in the country to an even greater height ( it's about 1in 4, currently)

  • Broga/ Semenyih is actually a water catchment area, supply water to no less than 1.5 million people in the Klang Valley and Putrajaya.

  • The gasification ash melting thermal treatment technology used by Ebara Corporation is still in its infant stage. Numerous reports from Japan have proven that this pilot technology is not stable and have caused the company a lot of money to fix the problems.

Ong Ka Ting should not have wasted the taxpayer money (no less than RM 1 million) to run advertising campaigns before the release of the EIA report. It is also wrong for him to pre-empt the EIA report, an excuse he used for avoiding dialogue with the Broga/ Beranang/ Semenyih people. One just wonder whether Perunding Utama (the company which was given the task to do up the EIA report) would not be influenced by the series of advertisements, which is a reflection of the ministry's agenda.  


* Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew, DAP national publicity secretary