KUALA LUMPUR, July 17 — A total of 171 people are suing the Johor state government for RM30 million over ill health that they alleged was caused by the pollution of Sungai Kim Kim in Pasir Gudang.
Bernama reported that the plaintiffs named current Johor Mentri Besar Dr Sahruddin Jamal and his predecessor, Osman Sapian, in their lawsuit.
They also named former state Environment Department director Dr Mohammad Ezanni Mat Saleh and state Drainage and Irrigation director Ir Che Mohd Dahan Che Jusof.
Other defendants are Pasir Gudang Municipal Council president Zainor Adani, Environment Department director-general Dr Ahmad Kamarul Najuib Che Ibrahim, the Malaysian government, P Tech Resources Sdn Bhd, and three individuals — N. Maridass, Yap Yoke Liang and Wang Jing Choa. The latter three were previously charged in court for relevant offences.
“The students and fishermen are claiming damages for toxic gas inhalation following the pollution in Sungai Kim Kim, as a result of which they suffered symptoms such as vomiting, headache, coughing, fever, breathing difficulty, chest and throat pain,” the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Kamarudin Ahmad, was quoted telling reporters at the High Court compound in Johor Baru.
“The plaintiffs said they suffer persistent muscle strain in their hands and legs, and high toxic level in the blood.”
According to Kamarudin, 34 students and eight others are seeking a court order to compel the Pakatan Harapan state government to pay their health examination costs for three years starting from the judgment date.
Plaintiffs also want the state government to pay for their medical treatment for a decade from the judgment date if they suffer from medical issues related to the pollution.
A chemical waste dump into Sungai Kim Kim last March had caused about 6,000 people to suffer breathing difficulties from the toxic fumes.