Johor's Sungai Kim Kim victims file suits for $9.9m

JOHOR BARU • Victims of the Sungai Kim Kim toxic pollution, which include fishermen and Johor's Pasir Gudang residents, have filed civil suits to seek compensation amounting to RM30 million (S$9.9 million) against 12 parties.

Lawyer Kamaruddin Ahmad said the two civil suits were filed at the Johor Baru High Court on Tuesday by the 171 victims against 12 defendants over their negligence in dealing with the pollution incident in March.

"The first suit named 42 Pasir Gudang residents, including schoolchildren affected by the pollution, as plaintiffs.

"The second suit named 129 fishermen from seven villages along Sungai Kim Kim, whose incomes were badly affected due to the pollution, as plaintiffs," he told reporters outside the High Court yesterday.

Both suits named 12 defendants including the federal government, Johor state government, former menteri besar Osman Sapian, former health, environment and agriculture committee chairman Sahruddin Jamal (now Johor Menteri Besar), the Department of Environment and its former director Ezzani Mat Salleh, and Pasir Gudang Municipal Council president Zainor Adani.

Also named as defendants were the company accused of causing the pollution and two of its directors, Yap Yoke Liang and Singaporean Wang Jin Chao, as well as a lorry driver of the company, N. Maridass, who was charged with illegally disposing of scheduled waste into Sungai Kim Kim.

In March, toxic pollution in Sungai Kim Kim resulted in more than 4,000 people falling ill, which also saw the temporary closure of 111 schools in Pasir Gudang district.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 18, 2019, with the headline 'Johor's Sungai Kim Kim victims file suits for $9.9m'. Print Edition | Subscribe