MALACCA - Industrial pollution, including diesel and petrol contamination, and waste from poultry farms have made Selangor River the most tainted waterway in the country for the last one decade.
Natural Resources and Environmental Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel said: "The illegal dumping of waste and untreated effluents have turned Sungai Selangor, a major water source for the nation's most densely populated belt, into a smelly and highly-polluted river."
"The river emits a pungent stench while a high concentration of micro-organisms spoils its aquatic environment."
He added that diesel and petrol contamination was discovered recently at the river's tributaries in Rawang which was a persistent occurrence over the past 10 years.
"We are studying the best measures to rehabilitate the river quickly before it becomes a serious threat to the availability of water resources," Palanivel said after attending the International River Seminar held in conjunction with the Malacca River festival here yesterday. Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron delivered the keynote address.
Selangor River is a major basin for the state and a main source of raw water.
In August 2013, an illegal factory in Rawang was purportedly responsible for the oil pollution in Sungai Selangor that triggered a water crisis affecting over one million people.
The oil from the factory, which manufactured roll-on/roll-off containers and compactors, was dumped into one of Sungai Gong's tributaries which flows into Sungai Selangor.
The spill forced the closure of four treatment plants affecting over one million consumers. Palanivel also said his ministry was working closely with the Tourism Ministry to introduce a river related tourism package covering several rivers in Malaysia.
He said the success of the Malacca River package could be emulated for cruises to be conducted in Sungai Pahang and Sungai Perak, among others..
Palanivel said the Malacca River cruise catered to one million visitors last year, generating a revenue of RM8.1 million (S$3.2 million).