|Cleaning up: A contractor raking the litter trapped in a floating boom installed in Sungai Batu near Kampung Simpang Batu, Kuala Lumpur. Malaysians must realise that whatever we throw into the drain will eventually flow into the river.|
Legally Speaking by Roger Tan
There should be a law to deal with all matters relating to our water resources, including management and preservation of rivers.
THERE is a saying that if you follow the river, you will find the sea. But these days, this may not literally be the case any more. The old river may have already turned into a stream or its path has been severely obstructed by waste.
Yet, whenever there is a flash flood, we would blame nature for causing the river to burst its banks. Take the Gombak River, for example. The flood problem has been there ever since the beginning of the century.
As someone related to me, during the great flood of 1920 when Kuala Lumpur was inundated with a metre of water, workers had to paddle to work in sampans! When the water receded, the Chartered Bank, located at Benteng, actually spread millions of soggy bank notes to dry on the Selangor Club’s field (now Dataran Merdeka)!
In another big flood a few years later, even the body of a tiger was swept through the city from upstream!
Hence, Malaysians must realise, if not begin to realise, that whatever you throw into the drain will eventually flow into the river. Waste must be properly disposed of, otherwise it will clog the drains and rivers. Similarly, if you discharge any environmentally hazardous substance into the river, it will cause pollution.