PSM Kedah condemns the illegal dumping and open air burning of huge amounts of plastic waste in several areas around Sungai Petani town. This irresponsible act has seriously affected the health of the residents living in the vicinity of the sites where the waste was dumped.
With reference to the exposure made by Consumer Association of Penang recently, PSM Kedah visited several sites reported in the media recently and found that open burning had caused the people to suffer from nausea, sore throat, breathing difficulties, and asthma and sleep deprivation. PSM also noted that besides the housing areas mentioned in the CAP report other residential areas all within a 5km to 7km radius also suffered from illegal plastic waste dumping and burning activities.
According to two of the residents, it became intolerable in the evenings when the burning of the rubbish began. Despite numerous complaints made to Majlis Perbandaran Sungai Petani, the Environment ministry and other authorities, nothing had really been done.
It was only after the hue and cry raised by the people led by the local environment organization that action started. PSM views with great concern the methods adopted by industries to illegally and openly dump dangerous waste materials in such a callous manner. These industries do not only flout regulations regarding the disposal of waste, but they also seem to have no concern about how their actions affect the environment and more importantly the health and safety of the people, especially those who live close to the waste dumps.
PSM also condemns the failure of the relevant authorities to take quick and effective action against errant industries which seem to operate with impunity as regards the environment. We also echo the call by CAP demanding that the Department of Solid Waste Management under KPKT to immediately cease all AP permits that allow importation of these waste.
(This statement is released by Banoo V. on 29 June 2019)