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Port Klang Resident Claims A Powerful 'Datuk' Is Protecting Illegal Plastic Factories

He claims that even Klang Municipal Council (MPK) personnel are afraid of the Datuk's thugs.

Cover image via Bernama via Free Malaysia Today (Edited by SAYS)

A Kampung Teluk Gong resident has stepped forward to say that illegal plastic and tyre recycling factories in the area are protected by a powerful 'Datuk'

A raid on an illegal plastic recycling factory in Teluk Gong on 17 January.

Image via Kementerian Tenaga, Sains, Teknologi, Alam Sekitar dan Perubahan Iklim (MESTECC)/Facebook

"They are protected by an influential individual, not only the residents are very reluctant to get involved in the issue of illegal factories," a resident named Zambri told Bernama, reported Malay Mail.

"The Klang Municipal Council (MPK) personnel also do not dare, while 'abang-abang kawasan' (thugs) have prevented and harassed the local authority's personnel from carrying out monitoring," he added.

Zambri also said that there are at least 50 licensed and unlicensed plastic and tyre recycling factories which have been operating in the area over the years.

The 'Datuk' is the reason many illegal factories which had been shut down by authorities were able to resume operations just a week later

A raid on an illegal plastic recycling factory in Teluk Gong on 17 January.

Image via Kementerian Tenaga, Sains, Teknologi, Alam Sekitar dan Perubahan Iklim (MESTECC)/Facebook

"At the beginning of the year, there was a massive operation carried out by the authorities, but only a week later, the factories were back in operation as usual," Zambri said.

He also shared the grievances of residents, who were forced to risk their health because the factories regularly burned plastic and rubber in the open.

The open burnings would happen in the early morning and afternoon.

A Klang Municipal Council enforcement officer tries to smash open a lock at an illegal plastic recycling factory in Telok Gong during an operation in January.

Image via Bernama/Free Malaysia Today

Checks by Bernama found, due to plastic and tyre recycling activities, chemical residues were discharged into drains, turning the water black and smelly.

The drains are connected to the water gate at a nearby fishing jetty.

Meanwhile, Port Klang assemblyman Azmizam Zaman Huri said he was disappointed that MPK was not serious in tackling the problem

He listed an illegal plastic recycling plant in Sungai Chandong, Pulau Indah as an example.

The plant had faced legal action from MPK, but was found to be carrying out open burning activities as usual.

Yeo Bee Yin and Port Klang assemblyman Azmizam Zaman Huri at the illegal plastic waste recycling factory in Telok Gong on Jan 17, 2019.

Image via Bernama/theSun

"In fact, my checks with Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) also found that MPK did not issue any letter for it to cut the electricity supply to those illegal plants," Azmizam said.

"TNB is ready to work on this, but it needs to be informed in writing by MPK itself. [They] need to take serious action in this regard, as this issue has affected the image of the country and the government.

"It should not just target the small fish, but take action against the sharks too," he added.

Similarly, grassroots activists in Jenjarom, Kuala Langat have been harassed for fighting back:

Illegal plastic recycling facilities are popping up despite steps taken by Malaysian authorities in curbing them:

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