Students among plaintiffs in lawsuit over Sungai Kim Kim pollution

17 Jul 2019 / 20:06 H.

PETALING JAYA: A total of 171 residents affected by the Sungai Kim Kim air pollution incident have filed a lawsuit against the government seeking redress for their suffering.

The plaintiffs include Irfan Wafiy Idham Wazir, 12, who now suffers from myokymia, a condition that causes several parts of his body to tremble. The Parkinson’s-like condition is believed to have been caused by pollutants.

Lawyer Kamaruddin Ahmad, who is representing the group, said Irfan Wafiy is seeking general damages and aggravated damages totalling RM10 million.

He said the residents, including 129 fishermen, are seeking from the Johor government the cost of medical examinations and medication for the next three years.

The majority of them are seeking compensation of between RM4,000 and RM5,000 each.

Kamaruddin said the fishermen are claiming special damages of between RM15,000 and RM30,000 each as their livelihood has been affected since March 7, claiming that the public have become afraid to buy fish from Kampung Nelayan, located along Sungai Kim Kim.

He said case management is expected to be held next month and trial to begin in November at the Johor Baru High Court.

The Johor government, mentri besar, state executive council, Pasir Gudang Municipal Council, the federal government, and a Singaporean have been included as the 11 defendants.

The statement of claim was filed on Tuesday.

On March 7, 105 students and residents living near Sungai Kim Kim were admitted to hospital after experiencing breathing difficulties caused by was believed to be toxic fumes.

Preliminary investigations showed the cause of the air pollution was the result of chemical waste being dumped into Sungai Kim Kim.

A second wave of air pollution swept through the community on March 11. A total of 106 victims were warded, including eight in the intensive care unit.

Over the next few days, thousands others sought treatment at hospitals.

Investigations showed that the chemical reaction from the discarded waste produced toxic fumes, including acrylonitrile, xylene, methane and toluene, that causes headaches, nausea, loss of consciousness and breathing difficulties. The pollutant can enter into the human body through the respiratory channel and skin.

On June 24, 75 students in Pasir Gudang were sent to a hospital after experiencing breathing difficulties and vomiting.

As a result, students from 15 schools in the area had their lessons disrupted.

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