By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-Genera and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Saturday, 3rd April 1993:
Call on Law Hieng Siang Ding to state whether and when his ministry gave approval for the EIA report for the Bukit Nanas central toxic waste treatment plant and confirm whether construction would begin this year
The Minister for Science, Technology and Environment, Datuk Law Hieng Ding, should state clearly and publicly whether and when his Ministry has given approval for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the Bukit Nanas central toxic waste treatment plant, and confirm whether construction for the plant would begin this year.
This is necessary and imperative in view of the conflicting statements that being made by the federal and state authorities.
Following the announcement by the Director-General of the Department of Environment (DOE), Dr, Abu Bakar Jaafar on Wednesday that approval for the EIA report for the Bukit Nanas central toxic waste treatment plant had been given, the Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Haji Mohamed Isa Abdul Samad, and the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Wong See Wah, had expressed differing views.
It is not clear however whether the Negri Sembilan Mentri Basar was disagreeing with the approval for the EIA report, or only with the timing of the announcement by the DOE Director-General.
Datuk Wong See Wah in a statement yesterday criticised the DOE for deciding that construction for the Bukit Nanas toxic waste treatment plant would begin this year without taking into full account the objections of the people and the state government.
What is very strange, however, is that Datuk Wong’s statement did not appear in the English and Bahasa Malaysia newspapers-including the English-language newspaper controlled by MCA. This raises the question whether Datuk Wong See Wah is playing ‘ a political game’, making the statement just for the benefit of the people in Bukit Nanas who will be affected by the toxic waste treatment plant, but not for the benefit of the DOE, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment or Cabinet.
The request that the Minister for Science, Technology and Environment state clearly and publicly whether and when approval for the EIA report for the Bukit Nanas Toxic waste plant had been given, and whether construction would begin this year, is not an unreasonable one as Datuk Law Hieng Ding had always impressed me as a conscientious Minister who is on top of his job.
I agree that this would be an unreasonable request if Law Hieng Ding is one of those Cabinet Ministers who does not seem to know what is happening in his Ministry.
As the MP for the Rasa parliamentary constituency where the Bukit Nanas central toxic waste plant would be located, Wong See Wah has a special responsibility to the 100,000 people who would be adversely affected by the toxic waste plant, abd he should not be a playing any ‘political games’ on the issue.
Wong See Wah is not an ordinary MP, but Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, a post which gives him considerable influence in the decision-making process in government.
Furthermore; MCA has four Ministers who must be prepared to take up the issue of the Bukit Nanas central toxic waste treatment plant on the Cabinet.
What the four MCA Ministers should do in next Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting is to ask the Cabinet to freeze all action by DOE on Bukit Nanas central toxic waste treatement plant and to order a review of the DOE approval for the EIA report for the Bukit Nanas plant.
Will Wong See Wah be able to announce before the Cabinet meeting next Wednesday that four MCA Ministers are prepared to speak up for the people affected by the Bukit Nanas central toxic waste treatment plant in the Cabinet?