Chemical Pollution: 13 schools around Pasir Gudang closed indefinitely

JOHOR BAHRU – As many as 13 schools around Pasir Gudang affected by toxic fumes, from chemical waste dumped into Sungai Kim Kim last Thursday, will be closed indefinitely from tomorrow.

Johor Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee chairman Dr Sahruddin Jamal said the 13 schools also included four schools that have been closed earlier, namely Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Taman Pasir Putih, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Pasir Putih, SK Tanjung Puteri Resort and SMK Tanjung Puteri Resort.

According to him, the decision was reached here this evening at a meeting of the working committee, initiated by the State Disaster Management Committee to look into issues related to the toxic fumes emitted by the disposal of chemical waste into the Pasir Gudang river.

“It was also agreed at the meeting that the Johor State Education Department and Johor State Religious Education Department will close the schools until further notice,” he said in a statement here.

Besides the four schools, the others closed are SK Pasir Putih, SK Kota Masai 2, SMK Kota Masai 2, SK Kota Masai 3, SMK Kota Masai, SK Kota Masai, SK Perigi Acheh, Sekolah Agama Kampung Pasir Putih and Sekolah Agama Taman Pasir Putih.

Dr Sahruddin said the Johor state government through the State Disaster Management Committee had activated the working committee to address the waste disposal incident aimed at coordinating and monitoring the occurrence of chemical spills.

The committee also agreed today, to appoint a contractor licensed by the Department of Environment (DOE) to carry out cleaning works along the affected 1.5km stretch of Sungai Kim Kim which will be coordinated by the Drainage and Irrigation Department as well as DOE.