Quarry Activities in Batu Kawan: Tremors in Kampung Masjid, 200 Residents Endangered


The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) urged the Penang State Government to investigate and take prompt action to resolve the problem faced by 200 persons from 38 families in Kampung Masjid near Batu Kawan in the district of Seberang Perai Selatan (SPS) whose lives are endangered by quarry activities near their residence.  The problem that has persisted for more than five years has become more serious in recent months.  It is reported that eight houses in the village had developed cracks due to blasting of rocks at the quarry.

CAP’s field investigation found that besides the damage to the houses, the residents here are also threatened by dust pollution, soil erosion and suffer losses because of crop damage due to the quarry activities. Safety issues are also a concern to the residents here because the quarry operator does not give a warning notice to blast the rock. Speeding trucks transporting rocks could also threaten the safety of the students in the area.

The affected people have informed CAP that the quarry carries out blasting work two or three times in a month.  The explosion in the quarry creates tumult and tremor in the village. During the blasting, not only dust engulfs the air in the village but “rain of sand” falls on the roof of their houses.

Many people here, especially children suffer from skin itchiness due to the dust pollution. Food, clothing and furniture in the house, including food stalls in the village are contaminated by dust. CAP is concerned that although this issue was brought to the attention of the state government and the relevant authorities in the past but no effective action was taken. Hence CAP requests the Penang Development Corporation (PDC), the State Land and Mines Office, the Department of Environment (DOE) and the Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) to solve the problem immediately.

CAP believes that if the problem is not resolved, not only the environment will be seriously threatened but also the health and safety of local residents will be adversely affected. CAP views that legal action and hefty penalties should be imposed on the quarry operator if found guilty of violating regulations stipulated under the relevant laws. CAP hopes that residents whose health have been affected and suffered losses due to damage to their houses and crops will be given fair compensation so that they can continue to lead their lives comfortably.

Press Conference, 28 October 2014