Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Dato’ Abdul Rahman Dahlan must clarify that an incinerator is only one of many waste disposal options at the Taman Beringin transfer station in Kepong

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang on the 19th of November 2013

Yesterday evening, on the 18th of November, Dato’ Dr. Nadzri Yahaya, the Director of the National Department of Solid Waste Management under the Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government dropped a bombshell on the residents of Kepong when he said that he had ‘misled’ the minister by giving him the impression that building an incinerator was the only available option at the Taman Beringin waste transfer station in Kepong. This was the reason why the Minister, Dato’ Abdul Rahman Dahlan, was insisting that an open tender had already taken place in September for an incinerator in Taman Beringin.

Instead, Dato’ Dr. Nadzri Yahaya, in his briefing to the residents of Kepong at the Jinjang North Community Center, informed those present that the open tender was for a ‘waste to energy’ facility which includes the following three options:

(i)                Thermal Treatment Plant in the form of an incinerator plant, a gasification plant or a pyrolysis plant

(ii)              Anaerobic digester for organic waste

(iii)             Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) or Materials Recovery Facility (MRF)

At the same time, Dato’ Dr. Nadzri also gave the assurance that all the bids for the different options, by local as well as international players, would be made public so that the members of the public can evaluate for themselves on whether the best option was chosen.

Dato’ Dr. Nadzri also mentioned that the bids would be evaluated based on the ‘best available techniques not entailing excessive costs’ (BATNEEC) and that the technology must be a proven technology that is environmentally friendly and cost effective.

He further mentioned that a Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) would be conducted for a period of nine months after the choice of the ‘waste to energy’ option has been chosen.

Given these announcements made by Dato’ Dr. Nadzri, the Minister of Urban Well Being, Housing and Local Government, Dato’ Abdul Rahman Dahlan, should immediately clarify that it is not certain that an incinerator plant would be built in Taman Beringin, Kepong and that this is only one of the options available. He should also confirm that the open tender for this project is open to all of the options mentioned by Dato’ Dr. Nadzri, of which the incinerator plant is just one option. At the same time, the Minister should also assure the public that all of the tenders for this project will be made available to the public. Finally, the Minister should assure the residents in Kepong that if the DEIA does not find the option that has been chosen to be suitable, the ‘waste to energy’ plant proposal will be scrapped.

The Minister’s insistence that an incinerator will be built in Taman Beringin has already created a lot of distrust and unhappiness among the residents in Kepong. If he has to have any chance of rebuilding this lost trust, it is of utmost importance that he makes clear what Dato’ Dr. Nadzri has told the residents in his briefing in Kepong yesterday evening.