Minister of Urban Well-Being, Housing and Local Government must give the following assurances to ensure that the incinerator option is not the ‘default’ option despite the international open tender

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, 25th of November, 2013 in Kuala Lumpur

Today, a group of concerned citizens from the Kepong area, led by the Kuala Lumpur Tak Nak Insinerator (KTI) NGO, have marched from Taman Sri Murni in Kepong all the way to parliament, a walk of more than 15km. They have serious concerns over the proposal by the Ministry of Urban Well-Being, Housing and Local Government to build a 1000 ton / day incinerator in Taman Beringin, Kepong which is a highly populated area. These concerns include: the release of poisonous dioxins as part of the incineration process, the high cost to build and maintain an incinerator and the high possibility of a fall in property prices as a result of the building of an incinerator in this area.

On the 12th of November, the Minister, Dato Abdul Rahman Dahlan, said in parliament that after a Ministerial Problem Solving Session with the Prime Minister, it was decided that all technology options would be accepted for the open international tender. It was confirmed on the 18th of November, in a briefing to residents of Kepong by Dato Dr. Nadzri Yahaya, the Director of the National Department of Solid Waste Management under the Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government that these technologies would include non-incinerator options as such Anaerobic Digestion and Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs).

I call upon the Minister to provide the public, especially the residents of Kepong who will be the most affected by the building of this waste-to-energy plant, with the following assurances:

(i)                That the terms of reference for the open international tender for the waste-to-energy options will be made public and will not be biased towards favouring the incinerator option

(ii)              That all of the bids for the ‘waste-to-energy’ option will be made publicly available so these bids can receive public scrutiny

(iii)             That if the Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) shows that whichever technology that is chosen is not suitable, that the ‘waste-to-energy’ solution from the international bid will not be implemented

Thus far, the Minister has not been fully transparent about the bidding process, the terms of reference of the bid, the possible cost and other relevant information pertaining to this waste-to-energy solution.

If the Minister fails to provide these assurances, it will only increase the distrust among the residents of Kepong and even the Klang Valley that the open international bidding and the subsequent DEIA will only be rubber stamps to build an incinerator in Taman Beringin.