Melcat to probe into pollution of Malacca River

30 May 2019 / 18:40 H.

MALACCA: The Malacca Special Select Committee on Competency, Accountability, and Transparency (Melcat) will conduct an investigation on the pollution of Malacca River, which was alleged to have occurred for many years, said its chairman Damian Yeo Shen Li.

He added the investigation would identify the cause of the pollution and the necessary preventive measures to improve the river management, which was well-known globally as a state tourist attraction.

“The investigation will cover all systems, and it will also involve a probe against state and Federal governments including companies involved with Malacca River. We also want to investigate and know whether this pollution was due to the geography, weather or environmental factor.

“The initial investigations are actually more than this, but we are not sure. This investigation was to identify the cause whether it was due to toxic substances or other unwanted materials,“ he said at a Melcat press conference at Ayer Keroh here today.

On May 20, Bernama reported the discolouration, foul-smell and dead fish in Malacca River are not caused by pollution, but believed to be due to the ocean current.

To initiate the investigation, Yeo said Melcat would hold meetings and closed-door briefings with stakeholders to obtain initial information on the incident, before conducting a public hearing on the case.

“We will call upon professionals and experts in this field to give their inputs and feedback. We also welcome other parties with information to come forward and provide the information to us.

“At the public hearing, all parties can come forward to provide information and follow the investigation progress. We want it to be in-depth information so that it will not take a week or two, but may take months,“ he said.

He said if the incident involved criminal activity, then Melcat would provide information to relevant parties such as the Department of Environment to take action in accordance with the law, and the entire investigation would be tabled at the state assembly sitting.

Meanwhile, he said Melcat had completed its investigation on the state e-complaint system to ensure it functioned better to solve the people’s problem.

“It will be made as a ‘risalat’ (platform) at the State Legislative Assembly, and we suggest for an application in order to allow people to give feedback, and we will bring this matter to the assembly in July,“ he said.

On March 7, Yeo was reported saying that the state received about 600 complaints every month and it was found that they have not been effectively resolved by the relevant bodies, resulting in the problem persisting. — Bernama

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