“My advise to the affected villagers in Sungai Lembu is that they sue the state government for failing to protect them. The villagers should be compensated for all their medical bills since the gas emission from this illegal factory had affected their health”
GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government has been told to explain why it did not follow up with remedial actions taken by the previous administration against the illegal factory producing carbon filters in Sungai Lembu.
State Gerakan Land and Anti-Corruption Committee spokesman H’ng Khoon Leng said the Barisan Nasional administration then had acted against the illegal factory when it received complaints from the Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) back in May 2007.
H’ng said as a result, investigation works started and the illegal factory, which was operating on a small scale then, did some remedial works to reduce its impact.
“At that time, the remedial actions planned had been documented, and the BN administration was just waiting to execute the plans. However nine months later, in early March 2008, DAP took over the Penang government.
“Why didn’t the DAP-led state government proceed with the remedial actions? Why shift the blame to BN now?”
H’ng said chief minister Lim Guan Eng must explain why his administration did nothing against the illegal factory in the past nine years.
He added that Lim’s attempt to blame the previous BN government over the illegal factory issue was “preposterous and irresponsible.”
Speaking at a press conference, H’ng also showed newsmen a satellite aerial time-marked photograph on Aug 31, 2008 which showed that the illegal factory was not visible by aerial view.
The illegal factory appeared clearly in subsequent satellite aerial photographs from 2009.
“These photographs clearly proof that the illegal factory was now able to operate openly.
“It is obvious that the factory has expanded its operations…the question is could it have done it if not for the protection from the state authorities?”
H’ng said the company which owned the illegal factory was only incorporated on Sept 14, 2006.
Meanwhile, commenting on the same issue, Parti Cinta Malaysia deputy president Datuk Huan Cheng Guan described as shocking Lim’s admission that his administration was aware that the illegal factory had a negative impact on the villagers there.
“This admission is shocking as the state government has now clearly admitted that they took no action against an illegal factory which was causing problems to the people living nearby.
“My advise to the affected villagers in Sungai Lembu is that they sue the state government for failing to protect them. The villagers should be compensated for all their medical bills since the gas emission from this illegal factory had affected their health,” he said.
Huan also urged Lim to explain who approved the state government’s policy of not demolishing or closing down illegal structures or businesses that existed pre-2008, and whether the policy was presented in the state legislative assembly or in the state executive council meeting.
Source: NST Online