Tuesday 16 Jul 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (Mar 14): There was no request from the Johor State government to declare a state of emergency for the Pasir Gudang area, it was revealed during a debate in Dewan Rakyat today on the chemical pollution there.

In his opening speech for the motion to debate on the Pasir Gudang chemical pollution, Hassan Abdul Karim (PH-Pasir Gudang) said it is essential for the Government to declare a state of emergency to facilitate purification works and medical support in the area.

However, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Law) Mohamed Hanipa Maidin (PH-Sepang) said the Federal Government has not received any request from Johor State Government for a declaration of a state of emergency.

“For the time being, the State Government thinks that they are still capable of handling the situation, so there was no request for a declaration yet, but we (Federal Government) are giving our full support, although there is no state of emergency, but we are responding to it with measures as though we are in a state of emergency,” he said.

Mohamed Hanipa also said the Government has just approved an allocation of RM8 million for river purification works, and has ordered various agencies including police, military and Hazardous Material Unit Team (Hazmat) to support the situation in Pasir Gudang.

Speaking to reporters in the Parliament lobby, Mohamed Hanipa said according to the law, the State Government has to make an application for a state of emergency if they want such a declaration.

“There are two types of states of emergency, one is the national one that all of us familiar with, involving Article 150...the Federal Government can evaluate whether to go ahead or not. The other one is meant for things like disasters, for which we need the State Government’s application, then we can bring it to the MKN (National Security Council) to decide,” he explained.

“Basically the Dewan Rakyat allowed the motion to be debated today, but the Government cannot accept the request by (the) Pasir Gudang (MP) because it does not fulfil the criteria to declare an emergency.

“But as the federal government, we have started sending our support, we take it as if a state of emergency has been declared,” he added.

Without a state of emergency, Mohamed Hanipa said the Johor government is still taking the leading role in the situation in Pasir Gudang.

“If it is a state of emergency, the Federal Government will lead the operation and take care of everything, including things like cost,” he said.

The emergency motion in Dewan Rakyat today was also attended by senior Ministers in the Cabinet, including Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub.

Dr Dzulkefly said that between March 7 and 13 this year, there were 1,568 reported cases related to toxic fumes from chemical pollution in Kim Kim River in Pasir Gudang. The number of out-patients is now 1,171 people, and 397 people were admitted to hospital, while 13 were treated in the Intensive care unit (ICU).

Dr Dzulkefly said as of today, the number of patients being treated in ICU has reduced to seven, while two patients are still in the high dependency unit (HDU), 382 patients in the normal ward, and 70 patients have been discharged.

There was no casualty reported so far in relation to the toxic fumes, he added.

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