Punish, not reward wrongdoers

The Selangor govt decides to give one final chance to unlicensed factories and landowners to legalise their operations by the end of this year


LEGALISING unlicensed and errant factories and landowners would only lead to unresolved issues.

Referring to the recent statewide water woes, lawyer Datuk Mohd Haaziq Pillay Abdullah said the Selangor government must punish the wrongdoers instead of rewarding them.

“By legalising them, the state government is letting them to legally carry out their wrongdoings. This is absurd. Why has no action been taken against the board of directors?

“Open investigation papers against the directors, who are behind the water pollution and collecting the profit. The directors should take responsibility,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).

Mohd Haaziq said the factory should have already been closed as the last ordeal was not the first caused by the same company.

He stressed that water is a basic necessity and over 1.3 million residents had suffered, having to carry gallons of water.

“Not everyone has the privilege to stay in a hotel during the water crisis.

“Why do we allow some to abuse and underestimate the rule of law. In the future, other factories will do the same,” he added.

The Selangor government last week decided to give one final chance to unlicensed factories and landowners to legalise their operations by the end of this year.

Failure to do so, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari said the state government would not hesitate to demolish the building structures. “We have been offering them to carry out the legalisation process since 2008.

“The decision of the last State Executive Council in 2018 was to extend the action until 2020. After 2020, we will demolish,” he said in a press conference after the declaration of Kuala Langat Municipal Council as consented by the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin

Idris Shah, last Wednesday. Bernama reported that the factory suspected of the Sungai Gong water pollution was found to have operated without a licence since 2014.

According to Selayang Municipal Council corporate department director Mohamad Zin Masoad, data also showed that the factory had never applied for a licence since it started operating six years ago.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) reportedly has begun investigations into the issue of pollution of Sungai Gong, Rawang.

Universiti Putra Malaysia political scientist Prof Dr Jayum Anak Jawan echoed similar concerns and said this reflects the government’s failure.

“This will only encourage people to do things illegally in the future, because they know that they will be given ample time to legalise their operations.

“This discourages good and law abiding citizens,” he told TMR.

Jayum said the state’s lackadaisical attitude only encourages deviant and disrespect for law and order.