Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) urges the Selangor State Government, Kuala Langat Municipal Council (MPKL) and related government departments to take heed and seriously consider the protest of the local community here against the proposed re-operation of the battery manufacturing plant near their residential area.
The state government and the relevant authorities need to learn from past experience, especially the pollution from the plant here that had affected the health and wellbeing of the residents here and the public.
Although the new applicant, Federal Power Holdings Sdn. Bhd, has assured in a media statement that it will not manufacture products that endanger health including causing pollution that could threaten the local community in Jenjarom, yet it is not a guarantee and justification to allow the company to resume operations at the site.
SAM had previously received a written response from the Kuala Langat District Council (MDKL) regarding the revocation of the operating license and ordered the previous battery factory, Leoch Accupower (M) Sdn. Bhd which was operating here, to be relocated to a heavy industrial area. The letter dated 19th December 2019 also stated that the revocation of the license and the order to relocate the factory to a heavy industrial area is in line with the decision of the Selangor State Executive Council (MMKN) meeting 30/2019 dated 16th October 2019.
The decision taken at this meeting proves that heavy industry and battery-based industry are not suitable to be carried out in the vicinity of Kampung Jenjarom or any site with small and medium industry status.
We are of the view that this new application has to be vetted thoroughly because the activities that will be conducted could be similar to the battery manufacturing activities conducted by Leoch Accupower previously. Furthermore, factories manufacturing battery and dry cell are included in the heavy industry category, thus it is not appropriate for the state government or local authority to permit Federal Power Holdings Sdn. Bhd. to take over and conduct the same operation in the factory at the site.
There is also a question raised by the community whether Federal Power Holdings Sdn. Bhd is backed by the original owner of the company, Leoch Accupower, whose business premises licence here was revoked.
The state government, local authority and government agencies should not compromise on matters involving environmental pollution that threaten the health and well-being of the people. Do not allow heavy industry in areas zoned for small and medium industries, close to residential areas and public facilities such as schools.