Metal sculptor and waste art scientist William Koong managed to take peculiar footage showing Sungai Damansara covered in white foam last Friday, 30 April, and he has published the video on Instagram
The less than a minute long video was uploaded on collaborative learning hub Taylor's Me.reka Makerspace's Instagram page. The caption reads, "River Pollution Sungai Damansara: We Need Answers!"
Koong is the director of Taylor's Me.reka Makerspace.
Noting in the Instagram post that he passes the river weekly, Koong noticed something strange about the river that Friday night.
He said he shot the video behind the People's Housing Project (PPR) at Lembah Subang after noticing the river completely coated in snow-white foam.
Speaking to SAYS, Koong recollected that there was a very faint chemical smell around the river that night
He mentioned that he had returned to the scene on Sunday and found that the foam had cleared out and the smell was no longer there.
An acquiantance of Koong's, artist Mohd Anuar Mustapa — who works around the area — told him that the foam had cleared out the very next day on 1 May.
Koong mentioned that the river was part of a diverse ecosystem and was home to fish and otters. Following this incident, Koong said that Anuar had told him that dead fish were seen lying on the riverbank the next day.
"I feel very sad because we were just complimenting about how this is the last patch of greenery in Ara Damansara, in the city. There [are] animals, there [are] birds, all sorts of birds are there and there are otters over there," Koong explained.
He told SAYS, "Then, one week later, the [foam was] covering the whole river."
"I would love to urge the authorities to look into technological measures in monitoring the river because on that night, at 12am, we didn't know who to call," Koong said
He mentioned that he and his acquaintances who witnessed the strange scene were unsure of who to call in order to report the occurrence.
"At 12am, there's no one to call and that's when it happens. Then, the next day, it's clean," he continued.
"We urge the municipal council or the people to endorse using sensors."
He said that sensors are not new technology. The sensors could be put around the river outlets to monitor any changes in the water quality pH, adding, "Then we can directly call or inform any of the authorities to straight away investigate what is happening."
He mentioned that his team is discussing ways to develop and fund such sensors to be put up around the river.
"As a sculptor myself and for what I am fighting for, I am not letting this go," Koong, who reuses metal scraps to create art, said.
Koong had originally made a formal complaint to the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), but was told that they matter was not under their jurisdiction
Instead, the administrator at the local council referred the matter to Indah Water, who later reached out to Koong twice on Monday, 3 April, to inform him that the strange occurrence was under investigation.
"We definitely need to find an answer for this and (for) the person to be answerable for this. […] Also to tell them, don't easily think you can get away with just, you know, poisoning the next generation. Just so you can reap some profit," he added.
He told SAYS that this was the first time that he and his friends had noticed anything of this scale happening to a natural river.
He urged the public to be aware and use technology like their handphones to capture these suspicious occurrences and post them up.
"These things could happen and then disappear the next day. Then, the people [who are responsible] can run away from this," he cautioned.
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