by Parliamentary opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday, April 2, 1993:
Is the Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar trying to keep the people of Bukit Nanas in the dark about the Federal Government approvaI for the RM200 million central toxic waste treatment plant until the last minute?
The whole country must have been surprised by the outburst by the Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Tan Sri HajiMohamed Isa Abdul Samad, warning the Science, Technology and Environment Ministry to stop making statements on the Bukit Nanas central toxic waste treatment plan as: “it will confuse the people”.
Two days ago, the director general of the Department of Environment, Dr. Abu Bakar Jaafar announced that Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the proposed RM$200 million central toxic waste treatment plant in Bukit Nanas, Negri Sembilan had been approved and its construction is expected to begin this year.
Dr. Abu Bakar said that approval was given to Kualiti Alam Sdn. Bhd., the consortium undertaking the project, subject to numerous conditions.
He said the EIA approval was given because the DOE was satisfied with the mitigative measures to be taken by tile consortium that would ensure safe transfer and treatment of wastes.
He said the DOE took time to announce its decision on it because it wanted to co-ordinate a11 the decisions made by the EIA review panel as well as the discussions held between the Federal and State governments.
He said: “This is the ensure that the final decision on the plant is completely harmonised.” He said that the DOE would be submitting a working paper to the Negri Sembilan State Government next month, outlining the conditions for the approval of the EIA.
Tan Sri Isa’s outburst against the Department of Environ¬ment on the ground that its statements would ‘confuse the people’ on the issue seems misplaced – unless the Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar is asserting that approval for the the EIA report has not yet been given.
It is clear that what Tan Sri Isa is angry about is not over the EIA approval by DOE for the Bukit Nanas central toxic waste treatment plant, but the petty issue of the DOE Director-General making the announcement about EIA approval without first consulting him. Tan Sri Isa seems more interested in keeping the people in Bukit Nanas in the dark about EIA approval then in their welfare and interests.
Tan Sri Isa should explain whether he is trying to keep the people of Bukit Nanas in the dark about the Federal Government approv¬al for the toxic waste treatment plant until the last minute, when it will be too late for the people to effectively register their protests and objections.
The people of Bukit Nanas and Malaysians concerned about the adverse environmental impact of the central toxic waste treatment plant are not interested in petty matters as to whether Dr. Abu Bakar should have announced the EIA approval before informing Tan Sri Isa, but how the project would affect the environment, health and liveli¬hood of 100,000 people in the Rasa parliamentary constituency – and in particular the pig-rearing industry in Bukit Pelandok.
What the people, of Bukit Nanas want to know is whether the Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar and the State Government are prepared to veto the central toxic waste treatment plant in Bukit Nanas in the interests of the people and environment.
In view of the latest development on the Bukit Nanas cen¬tral toxic waste treatment plant issue, with the imminent start to the construction of the central toxic waste treatment plant, I will be making another visit to the area with DAP Members of Parliament.