Sunday, August 18

No need for outside assistance – Yeo

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Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC) Yeo Bee Yin speaking during a press conference at Pasir Gudang City Council building today. Also present were Johor Health, Culture and Culture committee chairman Mohd Khuzzan Abu Bakar (centre) and Bomba Johor director Datuk Yahaya Madis (right). – Bernama photo

JOHOR BAHRU: The government does not require any external expertise to assist in identifying the cause of health problems affecting school students in Pasir Gudang since last Thursday.

Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC) Yeo Bee Yin said that since the first day of the incident, more than 100 personnel and officers from various agencies have worked together to find the cause.

“Not at this moment,” she told reporters at Pasir Gudang Municipal Council at Aqabah Tower, here today.

Yeo was commenting on news reports on proposals that the government sought foreign assistance said to have more sophisticated expertise or technology to help detect the cause of health problems in the area.

Also present were State Health, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Mohd Khuzzan Abu Bakar, State Fire and Rescue Department director Datuk Yahaya Madis, State Health Department director Dr Selahuddeen Abdul Aziz and Johor Bahru district officer Datuk Mohammed Ridha Abd Kadir.

Yeo said that a meeting will be held with industry representatives in Pasir Gudang area this evening to discuss the future planning of the area to be more sustainable and habitable.

The discussion is important as Pasir Gudang is industrial zone and the development of the area is deemed as unsustainable.

“I will meet them this evening. The private sector should work with the government to ensure sustainable development. We will discuss what measures should be taken,” she said.

Yeo explained that the cause of the health problem had yet to be identified because it was very different from the previous contamination case in Sungai Kim Kim in March.

Using yesterday’s incident as an example, she said only 10 out of 273 students affected were referred to Sultan Ismail Hospital and it was also found that the students were located far from each other.

“That is why, you cannot (determine the cause). There is no geographical correlation here, and this is similar to the incident on June 20, the first day of incident. This is very different from the cases related to Sungai Kim Kim,” she said.

Therefore, she said, the authorities are collecting data especially the readings at 85 schools besides seven blood and urine samples taken from yesterday’s victims. – Bernama