Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng opposes incinerator project in his constituency

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KEPONG (Aug 17): Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng will be writing an official letter to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) to oppose the waste-to-energy project at Taman Beringin here.

In Parliament yesterday, the ministry said it was committed to proceed with the controversial project, which entails building an incinerator, in a written reply to a question from the lawmaker about the project.

KPKT said the project will be undertaken via a public-private partnership, and stressed that it will make waste management easier and less expensive for Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur's (DBKL) by reducing the cost of logistics and expanding landfills as well as lower the emission of greenhouse gasses in the long run.

KPKT also highlighted that the government will not risk making losses in this project as it is a privately-financed initiative.

“Lim raised the question and the answer has shocked everyone, because just two days ago, we submitted our memorandum to KPKT minister Zuraida Kamaruddin and checked if she has the intention to scrap the incinerator project as this is the baby of previous BN (Barisan National) project, and the current landfill still has 70% to 80% capacity that can last for 40 to 50 years. We believe burning should be the last option.

“Zuraida said she will need to go through all the papers and carefully consider various options to make the decision which is best to the rakyat. However, in just 24 hours, she announced that the project will go ahead. This is shocking news for all of us,” said Kuala Lumpur Tak Nak Insinerator (KTI) committee chairman Lee Chong Tek in the press conference here Kepong today.

Lee and KTI vice-chairman Wong Wai Kong emphasised that Malaysia does not need another incinerator when the previous four, which are located in Cameron Highland, Pulau Pangkor, Pulau Langkawi and Pulau Tioman, have failed and closed down due to immature waste management in the country.

“Most of our rubbish are wet rubbish, and we do not have a very good rubbish segregation system now. Can you imagine how polluted the air will be when we are burning rubbish mixed with batteries, other electronics or chemicals?” said Wong.

Lim comments that it is an “insult” to Pakatan Harapan government because KPKT declined to reveal who had won the contract when asked about the matter.

“Who won the contract and how much it is [worth], we don’t even know. This is an insult to the Pakatan Harapan government because the government stands for freedom of information and transparency.

“I will use all the power with me to access all the information that KTI is asking for.

“I will write an official letter to KPKT for the details of the contract, such as who won and for how much, and how much is the tipping fees. I also want the minister to put down in writing that she will hold a dialogue with all the stakeholders in the neighbour,” Lim told the presses.

He explained that the tipping fee is the fee the government has to pay to the incinerator operator for burning a tonne of rubbish.

“I will also put down in the letter to ask whether the [KPKT] minister has gotten the green light from the MoF (Ministry of Finance), because the government is paying for the project. When it comes to concession projects, MOF needs to give the final approval. Without the green light from MOF, this project has to be scrapped,” Lim stressed.

He also promised to stand with KTI to against the project.

“I will fight this with KTI to the end. We are against this project. If Putrajaya is still in the view that this incinerator is good, please build it in Putrajaya but not Taman Beringin,” Lim said.

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