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6 Heart-Breaking Images of Polluted Rivers in Malaysia We Wish We Could Unsee


Air Selangor Feat Image 1
Source: Pendidik2u & The Straits Times

River pollution has long been a recurring environmental issue in Malaysia. Being unconcerned about our rivers, many of our own rakyat, business owners, and industries have been polluting the rivers on a daily basis. So irresponsible! And the consequences of their actions are shown in these pictures of polluted rivers from around Malaysia that break our hearts.


1. A river in Kuala Lumpur that resembles a giant tong sampah 

Img 20200911 142933

Residents, restaurant owners, and even recycling companies had been illegally dumping domestic waste into this river in Kuala Lumpur, as if it’s a giant-sized tong sampah. Like many other polluted rivers in Malaysia, indecomposable plastics, toxic wastes, and organic wastes occupy the river. If we continue to litter, our future generations could no longer swim freely in clean rivers or picnic by the river.


2. A river in Selangor where dead fish found floating

Dead Fish Bernama 240621 1

Dead fish sprawled over a 5km stretch along this river in Selangor. Too much trash in the river destroys the well-functioning ecosystems, resulting in the death of freshwater fishes and aquatic plants. If the littering precedes, we would have to bid goodbye to ikan patin and our favourite patin tempoyak!


3. A river in Johor dyed black by industrial chemical wastes 

Bp Pasir Gudang 150319 22

Industries dumping chemical wastes into rivers is nothing new in Malaysia. The picture shows a river in Johor that was polluted by industrial chemical wastes. Chemical wastes are toxic to aquatic life and would reduce the life span as well as the reproductivity of aquatic organisms. While you #sapotlokal during this MCO, be sure that you’re not supporting businesses that dispose of chemical wastes into our rivers.


4. A river in Selangor that is covered in oil 

Oil Spill

This river in Selangor is covered in oil due to an oil spill. Oil floating on the water surface prevents air from entering the river, causing the death of fish and plants. Most unintentional oil spills can be prevented. Next time, before you excitedly jump onto motorboats, make sure abang sailor has checked the engines for oil leaks.


5. A river in Sarawak where algae flourish


For illustration purposes

Are you using harmful pesticides and fertilisers for your gardens or farms? This river in Sarawak suffers from algae bloom due to the nitrogen and phosphorus in agricultural products. While the bunga kertas in your garden are blooming beautifully, aquatic plants in the rivers are perishing due to the lack of sunlight.


6. A popular riverside picnic spot in Kuala Lumpur covered in garbage

Sg Pisang

When we cuti-cuti Malaysia, did we clean up our own mess in tourists’ attractions? The picture above shows what happens if we litter irresponsibly after picnicking by the river. If you think this doesn’t affect you, may we remind you that rivers are our main source of clean water? Hence, it is vital for all Malaysians to play their part in preserving our rivers. Here’s how we can protect our rivers:

Protecting Our Rivers 2

River pollution does not only endanger aquatic plants and animals, it also threatens our health and safety. For instance, the freshwater fishes we put on our dining tables are probably laden with chemicals. Besides, using or consuming contaminated water can also lead to a long list of water-transmitted diseases, such as cholera, typhoid, and diarrhoea.

In Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, Lembaga Urus Air Negeri Selangor (LUAS), a statutory body under the state government, manages our raw water resources such as rivers, ponds, groundwater, and three nautical miles of coastal water from land to sea. They are also responsible for making sure that the raw water extracted is sufficient for treatment in water treatment plants.

This is why it’s so important to play our part and protect our rivers so that our water operators can extract and treat raw water from clean rivers before delivering it to our homes. Such a role is played by #AirSelangor, who works diligently to deliver safe and clean drinking water to our taps every day.

This month, in conjunction with World Rivers Day, #AirSelangor has teamed up with one of Malaysia’s most popular children’s cartoon, BoBoiBoy, to encourage dialogues regarding river pollution #KitaJagaAir.

It is never too early or too late to educate and raise nature-loving younger generations!

In order to preserve our main water sources, we urge all Malaysians to monitor activities near rivers because we’re all responsible for keeping our rivers clean. #KitaJagaAir

Without clean rivers, we would lose access to clean and safe water, which is a necessity in:

  • Daily living: drinking, washing, cleaning
  • Agriculture: planting, raising livestock
  • Transportation
  • Electricity generation
  • Economy


Join #AirSelangor in protecting the Malaysian rivers today! To show your support, use the hashtag #KitaJagaAir on your social media postings, and spark conversations about river pollution with your friends and family members! 

To learn more about Air Selangor, you can check out their website here. Don’t forget to like & follow them on Facebook and Instagram too for all the latest news regarding our Malaysian rivers.

Source: WOB
Source: Bernama
Source: The Star
Source: Phys.org
Source: Pendidik2u
Source: WOB

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