TTF: This is an edited version of a report by The Star Online (edited section in blue)
PETALING JAYA: PKR’s Penanti assemblyman Dr Norlela Ariffin (pix) said she was “really sad” to have received angry calls from businessmen over her expose of the illegal factory processing carbon-filters in Kampung Sungai Lembu, Bukit Mertajam.
She said she was branded a “useless assemblyman” who “disturbed those trying to make a living”.
“Also, Pakatan Harapan supporters accused me of being a Barisan Nasional mole,” said Dr Norlela in a latest Facebook posting Monday.
She said her political comrades had distanced themselves from her to allow her space to defend herself.
In the post, she provided the link that showed photographs of a petition by Sungai Lembu villagers objecting to the factory’s operations.
The link also showed a lawyer’s letter about suing the Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) in response to an SMS sent by JKKK to the factory on how some villagers had fallen ill, allegedly from the factory’s operations.
In the post, Dr Norlela added that she shared the link to the petition of objection by the villagers, which she and other parties had received, in order to prove that she had received complaints from the JKKK and objections from both the JKKK and villagers since 2015.
She said she had made several complaints about the factory since two years ago, claiming that the plumes of smoke it emitted had been the source of misery and health problems for the villagers.
“Thus, when people see the signed petitions from the penduduk (residents) and the letters from JKKK Sungai Lembu, then I hope people will understand that as a wakil rakyat (elected representative), I have no other choice but to raise the their questions … (I) only went to the police after I was threatened,” she added.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had apologised to Sungai Lembu residents, stating that the factory had been able to operate for over 10 years because of a state policy not to demolish or close down illegal structures or businesses that existed before DAP took over Penang in 2008.
However, the Chief Minister acknowledged that the factory brought negative impact to villagers after it was revealed that the incidence of cancer in Kampung sungai Lembu far surpassed the national average by a factor of 23 times.
He then went on to contradict himself by admitting that his administration was torn between legalising the factory and stopping operations altogether, which brings to question a decision by his administration to issue a directive to MPSP purportedly stopping the council from taking action.
The factory was investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) which arrested state executive councillor Phee Boon Poh over two letters he wrote to the local authority, urging for action not to be taken on the factory.
Phee, 66, was detained on Aug 11 along with factory owner Edmond Gan Eu Lee, 37, and his father Gan Buck Hee, 70. They were released on Aug 14 after the Penang High Court set aside their remand orders.
Adapted from: The Star Online