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Malaysia hauls 300 tonnes of trash from rivers near Singapore, mostly plastic

The waste came from just two rivers – Sungai Skudai and Sungai Tebrau – in the Johor Bahru area, said state health and environment committee chairman Ling Tian Soon.

“Last year, we collected 207 tonnes of garbage in Sungai Skudai and another 93 tonnes in Sungai Tebrau,” he said.

As a result, the state government initiated a programme to address river pollution this year called Johor Bersih@Sungai, involving all 10 districts.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday at Kampung Bakar Batu near Perling after launching the programme to clean up Sungai Skudai, Ling said the initiative began in 2022 before going through two name changes.

He spoke of the importance of having such an activity throughout all districts in Johor, not only in terms of cleaning the rivers, but also to raise public awareness about the need to care for the environment.

“There must be a stop to the dumping of garbage into the rivers,” he said.

However, Ling also said the water quality in five rivers that were among 14 identified as polluted in Johor had shown improvement.

“We managed to improve the class category for the five rivers, which were previously in categories three and four, to category two and higher,” he said.

Ling credited the Department of Environment’s enforcement actions and engagement with industry players for the improvement.

He added that the state government’s Johor Bersih initiative was on the right track given the drop in the number of polluted rivers from 14 to nine.

In an unrelated matter, Ling said that those responsible for the deaths of four elephants in a fruit orchard at Kahang Timur in Kluang could face consequences. The elephants were found dead on June 1.

“The initial postmortem report indicated that the death could be due to respiratory and