Media Statement by Johore DAP Policy Director and Senai State Assemblyperson, Wong Shu Qi on 4nd May 2014 (Sunday):
The Johore Barisan Nasional Government has to assure the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007 is enforced immediately due to rampant private recycling activities jeopardising public’s interest or just say “NO” to centralised solid waste management policy.
Johore adopts the “Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007” which centralizes solid waste management. Yet, the Act hasn’t been fully enforced in Johore after the adoption, hence causing further confusion over solid waste management.
In the written reply to my question during the last state assembly sitting, the local government department admitted that they have yet to issue any license to recycling business owners in Johore. There are presently 66 recycling businesses recorded in 13 local councils out of 14.
Most surprisingly, there are only 2 recycling businesses recorded in Kulai Municipal Council while local residents or even passers-by can easily spot quite a number of recycling centres located next to main road or within light-industrial zone.
Besides that, it is obviously that government agencies do not liaise with each other under current system as Department of Environment had provided a different set of number to me much earlier when I asked the question in the first assembly sitting last year. According to DoE, there were only 25 recycling business premises recorded.
More importantly, there were at least three fires reported in recycling business premises that emitted toxic smoke in Senai area in the past six months. Unfortunately, no further actions were taken by related agencies to compound or take action against owners who violate the Act.
Clause 73(2) of “Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007” states that “No person, unless he is licensed under this Act to collect the solid waste, shall sort over, disturb or otherwise interfere with any receptacle or receptacle chamber for controlled solid waste…” while clause 73(4) explains that charity groups which carry out the recycle activities can be exempted.
It’s clear that all recycling businesses have to be regulated and registered under the Act, which was gazetted in 2007 and enforced on 1st September 2011, in order to have a greener recycling industry.
Currently, unregulated recycling centres that are being set up rampantly with no proper design of drainage to release sewage and accumulation of flammable materials, which are fire hazards, are detrimental to local residents’ health.
Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Corporation (PPSPPA) has taken over the responsibility of managing solid waste and public cleansing from Johore local authorities since September 2011, hence, it’s disappointing to see no action to enforce the law passed at federal parliament although I am personally against the federalisation of solid waste management.
The Johore Barisan Nasional Government has to assure that the “Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Act 2007” is enforced immediately since rampant private recycling activities have been jeopardising public’s interest or say “NO” to centralised solid waste management policy.
Furthermore, it is proved that Pakatan Rakyat is right to say “NO” to centralised waste management in Penang and Selangor after Perak government has also join the row to refuse the centralisation.
I hereby call upon Johore state government to review if we should withdraw from the centralisation and draft a better-tailored waste management policy for Johore people and not delegate to Putrajaya office who might not even know the whereabouts of 14 local authorities in Johore.
Wong Shu Qi