KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today urged industry players to treat all kinds of effluent and industrial waste responsibly to protect the country's sources of clean water supply.
Speaking at the launch of the Pantai 2 Sewage Treatment Plant (S2STP) here today, he said Malaysia is blessed with 150 rivers but more must to be done to ensure that natural resources are protected.
"Malaysia is blessed with plenty of water supply sources but we face a shortage due to global climate change and river pollution.
"Commitment from all quarters is necessary to completely treat all kinds of effluent and industrial waste to protect our sources of clean water supply.
"The three main causes of river pollution identified include agricultural and manufacturing industrial waste, domestic waste and farming activities," he said.
In line with this, Najib said, under the National Sewerage Strategic Plan, the government aims to build 77 treatment plants by 2040 with an allocation of RM52 billion.
"A total of 46 treatment plants have been built nationwide so far but high capacity and modern plants would not work at an optimum level if there is low flow of waste.
"Therefore, I urge the public to fully support programmes that connect sewerage pipes from premises to the public sewage system under the Sewerage Services Department," he added.
Najib said the government covered 90 per cent of P2STP's real costs in what he described as ‘hidden costs.’
"The public is required to pay RM2 to RM8 per month but monthly operation and maintenance costs amount to RM20.
"Overall, the government is paying RM2.37 billion to operate and maintain the country's sewerage network," he said adding that Indah Water Konsortium is in charge of managing the plant and Pantai Eco Park.
Also present were Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and Lembah Pantai UMNO division chief Datuk Seri Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin.
Spanning 17ha, P2STP, which uses state-of-art green technology, is the first underground sewage treatment plant in the country and the largest of its kind in Asia Pacific.
Of the area, the 12ha Pantai Eco Park contains public facilities, including a community hall, a jogging track, a football field and tennis, basketball, sepak takraw and futsal courts.
P2STP has the capacity to cater to 1.8 million population equivalent within its catchment areas up to 2035.