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Water woes place country in a vulnerable spot

A muddy source of water for the Orang Asli at Kuala Koh - Photograph: Sinar Harian

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It is time we placed health and wellbeing above economic exploits, writes JD Lovrenciear.

The millions of citizens and visitors being forced to put up with frequent and unscheduled treated, clean water supply is a serious problem.

If we are affected because of a natural calamity, the crisis can be dealt with and accepted by the public. Even if the planned disruptions are to facilitate upgrading or repair work it is still deemed reasonably acceptable.

But when all too often supply has to be shut down owing to dangerous and polluting substances in raw water supply, it signals that there is a deep-seated threat to the safety and security of a nation.

One, why is it there are still business operators not paying any serious attention to the potential hazard their operatives pose to our water sources?

Two, even when action is taken on those legal or illegal operators who caused a serious water pollution problem, there are others not rattled enough to ensure that they must exercise greater care and concern.

If we do not regard the polluting of our water supply seriously, in all probability we may be allowing vast numbers of consumers to be exposed to poisoning and health-related difficulties.

Enforcement is crucial. It has be to sustainable and effective action. Where enforcement slackens, heads must roll and negligent staff must be terminated.

The laws against those who pollute and threaten our water sources or supply must be revisited. The action taken must be exposed and the culprits made to pay heavier sentences.

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Those who do not exercise stringent care when conducting their business must have their licences revoked on top of serving heavier sentences or fines.

The same also goes for air pollution. Expose and punish polluters. It is better to lose a business than to lose our wellbeing, safety and security.

It is time we placed health and wellbeing above economic exploits. Otherwise we will be constantly facing water disruptions and poor air quality. And someday these could be lethal.

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