Tourists aboard a river cruise on the Melaka River December 5, 2017. — Bernama pic
Tourists aboard a river cruise on the Melaka River December 5, 2017. — Bernama pic

MELAKA, May 20 — Pollution has caused the water in Melaka River to turn black and foul-smelling, with dead fish, since yesterday, especially in Taman Rempah here.

Melaka Health and Anti-Drugs Exco, Low Chee Leong said the pollution was detected to be from the Batu Hampar Dam in Batu Berendam here which has been instructed to be shut down immediately closed to prevent the situation getting worse.

“We worry that the pollution will get worse and do not want a repeat of the chemical pollution in Sungai Kim Kim, Pasir Gudang, Johor,” Low, who is also Kota Laksamana state assemblyman, said.

“We have asked the Department of Environment (DOE) and the Health Department to take immediate action and get a sample of the contaminated river water and the dead fish for analysis to find out the cause of pollution and level of seriousness,” he said in a press conference at the Melaka River Cruise Jetty in Taman Rempah here today.

Also present was the chief executive officer of the Melaka River and Coastal Development Corporation (PPSPM), Azlan Abidin.

According to Azlan, at midnight tonight, PPSPM will flush the water by opening the dam at the Melaka River mouth and ensure that the Batu Hampar Dam is closed so that the polluted river water will flow out to sea.

He said since this morning, about 60 PPSPM have been involved in cleaning the dam of the dead fish and rubbish.

“According to the initial information from PPSPM technical staff, the pollution water was from Batu Hampar and they are now outside the area to determine the source (of pollution). In Malim district too, the water has turned black like here and samples have been taken to be sent to the DOE,” he said.

Azlan said the PPSPM has received complaints from the public, including passengers on the  Melaka River Cruise, of the foul smell and change in colour of the Melaka River water.

He added that if the problem was not immediately resolved, the PPSPM will probably temporarily close down the Melaka River Cruise operations. — Bernama