11 July 2019
Press statement by Wanita MCA Central Committee member cum MCA Johor Publicity Bureau Chairman Chan San San
Millions spent to purchase defective detectors: Govt weak in decision-making or other interests involved in purchase?
The PH-led Johor state government must publicly clarify reasons for purchasing unsuitable gas detectors and the transactions involved, so that public interests will not be sacrificed nor people’s health placed at risk. Criticism is warranted against the Johor state government for having spent in excess of RM1million of taxpayers’ funds to buy unsuitable gas detectors. Was public interest sacrificed for the interests of others for the expenditure?
MCA Pasir Gudang Chairman Tan Tuan Peng at a press conference revealed that the gas detectors issued by the Johor Department of Environment were defective, and that even experts have likewise indicated that the said gas detectors are unsuitable. However, the Johor DoE is implacable to public feedback and spent more than RM1 million to purchase the detectors for distribution to 111 government schools.
In fact, the Johor DoE-issued gas detectors are limited to indoor use and only one single type of gas maybe detected for each operation. Therefore, the detectors fail to effectively detect other toxic substances that might have been emitted into the air. Such purchases are a waste of money and are of no help at all in supervising the air quality.
As the experts have conveyed that the gas detectors are inappropriate, why did the Johor state government still insist on splashing more than RM1million to buy those detectors and distributed them to 111 schools? Was this a mistake in decision-making, or are there any hidden interests behind the purchase?
It has been 3 weeks already since the second bout of toxic fumes contamination hit Pasir Gudang on 20 June 2019. Much has been spent on manpower and resources, yet the Johor state government is still unable to trace the source of the poisoning. Such a failure has led to the public to suspect if the authorities are overlooking illegal chemical factories. There are reasonable grounds to be suspicious as the Johor DoE has been exposed of spending more than RM1 million to purchase inappropriate gas detectors. DoE’s questionable purchase casts doubts on the integrity and professionalism of the Johor state government.
The toxic fume pollution incident in Pasir Gudang has seriously affected the daily life of residents. High risk patients such as those with heart disease or asthma patients, the elderly and children are exposed to danger all day long. The Johorh state government must not waste money unnecessarily, but propose specific solutions to address the health issues local residents are currently faced with.
Tracing the source of the air contamination must be the government's main focus. This will address the roots of the problem. Otherwise, continued exposure renders more risks against residents.
Chan San San
Wanita MCA Central Committee
Johor Wanita MCA Publicity Bureau Chief