New Straits Times

Govt, TNB to cut off electricit­y supply to illegal factories


KUALA LANGAT: The government will work with Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) and the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) to cut off utilities to illegal factories.

Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environmen­t Minister Yeo Bee Yin said a notice had been sent on Tuesday to a factory processing plastics here.

“I will ensure that TNB cuts the electricit­y supply after seven days from the date of the notice so that illegal factories can no longer operate.

“We will also ensure that any illegal factory, which has been shut down, will no longer be able to operate in any other area... We will work with the authoritie­s to ensure they don’t start up again anywhere,” she said.

Yeo was met during an operation to shut down an illegal plastic processing factory in Telok Panglima Garang here.

Present were Department of Environmen­t (DoE) director-general Datuk Dr Ahmad Kamarulnaj­uib Che Ibrahim and Banting assemblyma­n Lau Weng San.

The joint operation was carried out by 100 people from the Kuala Langat District Council, Immigratio­n Department, police, Customs Department, TNB, SPAN and Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas).

Yeo said the plastic waste in the factory would be given to licensed factories for processing.

“We have contacted licensed recycling factories, which follow the regulation­s of the Environmen­t Act and are registered with the authoritie­s, to process the waste.

“It would be better than sending the waste to dump sites.

“Malaysia will also stop importing plastic waste material, especially low-grade and low-quality ones,” she said.

Yeo said she had also instructed the DoE and police to detain locals suspected to have broken regulation­s under the Environmen­tal Quality Act 1974.

Under the act, she said, a special letter could be issued to allow the authoritie­s to arrest suspected environmen­tal criminals.

“The director-general (of DoE) or any officer given written authority by the director-general or police can arrest any individual without warrant if there is any reasonable belief that this individual has committed or has attempted to commit an offence under the act.

“Before this, most arrests involved foreigners, but from now on, we will also arrest Malaysians involved in such activities.

“We want to ensure that such things do not happen. I want to remind illegal factory operators to think about their actions. I will ensure that police will arrest you and that you will be charged in court.”

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