Stop the pollution of Sungai Pinang

The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) urges the Municipal Council of Penang Island (MPPP) to take immediate action to stop the continued pollution of Sungai Pinang.  CAP is upset that until now no concrete action has been taken to curb the persisting pollution which has been plaguing the river for more than 20 years.

Among other polluting activities along the river, the dumping of waste from a pig abattoir which is located near the river has not only resulted in bad odour and rendering the river black in colour but has also caused death of aquatic life and polluted the estuary and nearby sea.

Sungai Pinang happens to be one of the 12 dirty rivers in Penang and one of the most polluted rivers in Malaysia and Asia.

The livelihood of more than 100 small fishers based in the Sungai Pinang Jetty has been threatened by the pollution. Previously the fishers income could reach more than RM1,000 per month but now their monthly income has dwindled to RM600 to RM700 only.

CAP and the affected fishers have brought this problem to the attention of the relevant authorities numerous times but to no avail as effective actions were not taken to curb all polluting activities.

CAP is of view that stringent enforcement action must be taken against the abattoir owner. If necessary the abattoir should be relocated to another site where its operation must not cause environmental pollution or threaten the livelihood of local communities and public well-being.

Besides the pollution from the abattoir, CAP’s investigation reveals that solid waste dumping and oil and grease also contribute to the pollution of the river.

CAP urges the Department of Environment, Drainage and Irrigation Department and the Veterinary Services Department to investigate this complaint and take integrated, effective action to curb the pollution problem at source.

Press Statement, 14 July 2010