Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday warned that those behind the latest air pollution in Pasir Gudang, which left dozens ill, will face the full brunt of the law.
At a news briefing on the sidelines of the 33rd Asia-Pacific Roundtable, Mohamad said that the incident was “unfortunate” and that it should have not happened again after the initial incident at Sungai Kim Kim in March.
“We have to determine who is responsible for the environmental pollution and we will take stern action against them,” he said.
“Rightly, after the previous incident, it should not have happened again, but looks like there are industries which are not that bothered about safety,” he added.
The pollution caused dozens of students and staff from two schools to suffer from breathing difficulties and vomiting since last Thursday.
Azman Adnan, director of the Johor Education Department, said in a statement that 475 schools comprising 347 private pre-schools, 111 state-owned primary and secondary schools, three higher educational institutions, and 14 private and international schools were ordered closed since Tuesday until Thursday to address the issue.
“All educational institutions have been ordered to close in an effort to address the issue of pollution sources by the authorities,” he said.
In March, over 4,000 people, mostly children, fell ill from toxic inhalation in Sungai Kim Kin.
The incident also saw the temporary suspension of 111 schools in the Pasir Gudang district.
Authorities debunked claims that the two incidents were connected.