Friday, May 23, 2008

Sg Kayu Ara

Amazing sight of squatter colonies, illegal makeshift steel bridges, untreated sewarage,
rubbish deposits, retained waters... it's like a different world

Construction debris, uncompleted embankments choking the river

All choked up...
(Pics courtesy of The Star)

I took The Star reporter on a tour of the Sungai Kayu Ara right at the border of my Petaling Jaya Utara constituency with the Subang parliamentary constituency 2 weeks back. Many of those staying in PJ probably don't know much about the river, unless you actually stay right next to it, but having been taken on tours on various parts of the the river by residents, it is a river which brings crime, health, flooding and other environmental problems to the city as a whole.

Have a read at the Star report here (excerpts below), and I'll try to upload more photos later.
River silting has become a major concern as it leads to flash floods and other social, environment and health problems. StarMetro visits Sg Kayu Ara in search of the real issues behind the siltation.

THE Sg Kayu Ara river in Petaling Jaya meanders through the city passing through residential districts and wellknown commercial landmarks.
Not complete: The embankments are either half complete or inadequate.

Yet what should be a seamless flow is blocked; heaps of rubbish piled up on the surface with construction rubble and earth lining the riverbanks.

During a visit to four sites along the river together with Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, we witnessed more than just river silting. The greater concern was the social and environmental impact the condition posed.

Further upstream we came across a settlement made up of mainly foreigners who had built wooden houses along the riverbank.

The foreigners have also illegally built bridges over the river to be linked to another colony.

Pua said most of these foreigners might even claim to have land titles since they were bold enough to build the houses.


Moving on to the second site in Jalan Jenjarom Damansara Jaya, further shock greeted us in the form of another foreign settlement clinging onto a hill slope well hidden from the main view of the roads.

The hill slope was also treated as a dumpsite with rubbish everywhere.

“I'm shocked to see this. This place reminds me of the 1970s Vietnamese refugee camp in Sg Besi! It's shocking to learn that we still have problems like these in an upmarket city like Petaling Jaya,” said Pua.

At the third site near Kg Chempaka in Taman Mayang, res-taurant operator Loke Moon Hoong, who has been running his business there for the past 30 years, said the surrounding area had experienced floods three times in the last two months.

“The worst flood was as high as two metres,” said Loke.
More importantly, we are in discussions with MBPJ and the Police to form a task force to deal with the issues and problems which arises out of the alien ecosystem of Sg Kayu Ara.


KinWah.lai said...

i know kayu ara but dont got a river with such condition.
i wonder is it only rumah papan around this river?

Anonymous said...

Dear YB Tony Pua
I had been bringing university students to the said river for a few years as part of the environmental microbiology course.

If you observed carefully if my observations were still valid the main contribution of pollution to the river is from the ill managed and improperly operated sewage treatment plants.

I do believe just proximity to the bridge where you took the picture there is a poorly maintained wastewater treatment plant discharging effluent of doubtable quality standards...

Upper near the Taman Tun the sewage treatment plant is also of suspect

The problem Tony is that the standards of discharge just measure BOD, COD and Total Suspended Solids. I have my doubts if the existing sewage treatment plant really works

As for the silting ever since the good old days in the 60s and 70s these rivers or precisely streams are very slow flowing

Why dont you first bring to task the Indah Water Konsortium for their contribution to pollution by their poor treatment and operation of the sewage treatment plant

Come to think of it the famous Jln Timur lake in Petaling Jaya is really polluted. Go and measure the dissolved oxygen, BOD or COD of that lake. You will be surprised. If you visit that lake there is a continuous input of wastewaters from the residential area...hehe

Removing the ribbish by traps are not really efficient...

Anonymous said...

It is indeed sad to look at the polluted river. When I was visiting Japan, I saw fish swimming in their pollution-freed and crystal clear rivers.

The Rakyat needs to be educated on the importantness of keeping our environment pollution free.

In addition, a stricter law and a good enforcement of law need to be in placed to deter any party from polluting our environment.

Anonymous said...

Mr P

Yes, this has been a long standing problem in this part of PJ. If you can do something, it will be fantastic for all. It takes only political will.

Best rgds.

Anonymous said...

With no disrespect... and indeed I do support you but I have to make a point.
In the speeches you made during the election, you said that checking drains is not an MP thingy. Why check the river yourself now? :)


Anonymous said...

Hello Anonymous 11:37pm
With no disrespect, please use a 'magnifier' if you need it. ;-p
I see that the issue brought up by Tony is for the interest of everyone, which is about the environment and pollution.
In fact I am very delighted that this issue is being highlighted in the newspaper. I am staying in PJ. It's suppose to be a area where garbish from every household is collected. It's an eyesore how come there is still garbish floating on the river.
Now i am quite sure it's "contributed" by the squatters. It's my wish that Selangor government can make it a point to "clean" our river.
Boleh kah ? after four years ?

Anonymous said...

It is laudable that you see the problems of water pollution. However, we residents in Taman Megah Mas would appreciate it if you could highlight and find a solution to the problems of air and noise pollution we have to endure day in day out right in front of our doorsteps. Come to Jalan Emas 1 and 2 and see for yourself the high-way-like volume of traffic on a residential housing road. No less important is the safety of our children and senior citizens who have to gamble with their lives whenever they cross the road.

Anonymous said...

We are happy that YB Tony Pua is actively taking up such horrendous housing and health grievances on behalf of the PJ folks in addition to being the busy adviser MP that he is, attending to the eccentric business hours of parliament =)

Glamour Gal
Section 17 resident

Anonymous said...

YB Tony,

The problem with the polluted river must be dealt with.

It's not a coincidence that great civilizations of the world begins from the utilization of rivers. Although we no longer depends on the rivers as much as we did thousands of years ago, we must not forget that if we do not take good care of the river, "shit" happens to the people who lives around it.

A clogged polluted river brings many problems to the residents, especially health hazards.

Anonymous said...

Dear YB Tony,

I suggest we really need to synergise MBPJ Councillors together with DOE & IWK personnel to discuss further and come out with the best solution to solve this matter amicably.

Anonymous said...

River is a natural watercourse but a drain is man made. River represent life and mankind history started from Indus, Yellow, Euphratus, Tigris River. Not only man but river are also shared by fishes (Yangtse Dolphins), birds, plants and reptiles (crocodiles)Look carelly, people are treating the river as DUMMPING and this include Indah Water if they discharge imcomplete treat effluent. It is accptable if Indah has treated the waste to WHO standards. People also start to treat river as dumping ground - like murder someone and throw them into the river - Elementary my dear friend.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree. You did say it was not an MP's job. You had insulted Ms MF Chew, calling her a "longkang MP", so you are a "dirty river MP" now. Perhaps you could appoint MF Chew to look after these matters on your behalf. A person should be judged on how well the job is done, not the type of job one is doing.

Anonymous said...


I beg to difer.

As a knowledge worker in the knowledge era, it's more important that you do the right things instead of focusing on the things right.

As I see it, the river IS the livelihood of all PJ residents. If we cannot even take care of simple things like this, I don't we can go very far as a community.

Anonymous said...

Dear Friends and YB,

hehe... yes... the river is very polluted and shouldn't be so.
Just wanna tease tease a bit :)
On a serious note... it would be interesting what caused the pollution. It could be us who threw little things (tissue, ciggie butt, etc) that we thought would be washed away by rain or somehow clean itself.
So.. lets clean up ourselves rather than give YB the chance to check river next time :)
small actions lead to big success :)


Anonymous said...

I think jabatan parit tali air is "blind" by the whole stuation, or their officers are on a holiday cum study trip somewhere in China! hehr

Anonymous said...

Tony, you lucky bastard.

You study in Singapore right? Last time they also have many dirty lokangs and small rivers. Remember what they do?

They chope money from investors or use town council money or gov money, they make the dirty places into beautiful parks!

Now they can let people push cart sell ice cream and hot dogs to earn liscensing money if they want.

The residents get a nice park, with fish and nature to teach their kids. The MP get extra votes.

So do you think you can emulate Singapore? You so lucky to inherit a river the previous lucky bastard did not know the value of.

Anonymous said...

Tony, one thing. Don't forget to thank whoever helped in to put up the park. The Polis who drive away the illegals, the cleaners who cleaned up your river, the poor squatters who you had to relocate.

You see ah, the one thing that BN did not have, was humility. The sincerity and graceful thanks for the normal people and their normal lives.

So if you are different, show it. If you keep whacking the Polis, Town Council workers, Cleaners etc for not doing their job, but never thank them for doing their job, one day, you will stand alone with that river dirty as ever.

NEIL said...

YB, There are dead chickens been thrown in.Just imagine this is happening right under your nose. It's a shame!!

Anonymous said...

Good job YB Tony's only been about 1 month since this issue of illegal settlers and rampant disposal of garbage into Sg Kayu Ara, and we are already seeing results!!! It's not great to see human beings losing homes, but it's fair game, everyone has to live off OUR land in a proper and legal manner. Since law abiding tax payer M'sians have to pay cukai pintu, tanah etc to live in our own land, don't see why others who come to our land to make a living should be allowed to squat illegally off state lands, illegally tapping electricity and water supplies.

Great job...but there is still plenty of clean up job to be done, both on the land and the polluted river. Next comes the part about educating the people who reside near the rivers on how to respect and look after what mother earth has provided for us and all our generations to come.

-Lady Jane-