Archive for the ‘Environmental Education’ Category

Covid-19: Big increase in clinical waste being carefully handled, says Environment Minister

Thursday, March 26th, 2020

PETALING JAYA: There has ben a 17% increase in clinical waste in the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but all waste is being handled in the right manner, says Environment Minister Datuk Tuan Man Tuan Ibrahim.

He said the seven companies licensed to handle clinical waste are being strictly monitored by the ministry, from when it is picked-up until it is incinerated at 12 locations nationwide.

The incinerators are managed by seven companies, five companies of which are under government concession, while two others handle clinical waste from private medical facilities.

“During the Covid-19 pandemic from February 2020, the clinical waste of the country has increased by 17%, compared to the monthly average at all institutions with healthcare facilities.

“The Environment Ministry, through the Environment Department, has a comprehensive clinical waste management system since 2005 under the Environmental Quality (Scheduled Wastes) Regulations.

“All clinical waste is filtered at the hospitals or clinics, collected, sent by special vehicles to be disposed of at 12 incinerators nationwide,” said Tuan Ibrahim, in a statement issued on Thursday (March 26).

He said that all the companies are monitored via the Electronic Scheduled Waste Management System (eSWIS), to ensure proper disposal and adherence to rules.

“Improper handling and disposal of clinical waste is a crime under Section 34B(1)(a) of the Environmental Quality Act 1974, which carries a maximum of five years’ jail and a fine of not more than RM500,000 upon conviction,” said Tuan Ibrahim.

During Covid-19, medical personnel are also forced to use extra personal protection equipment, which are discarded as clinical waste after a single use.

By ZAKIAH KOYA.

Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2020/03/26/covid-19-big-increase-in-clinical-waste-being-carefully-handled-says-environment-minister

Protect Sabah’s natural forests: WWF-Malaysia

Monday, March 23rd, 2020

Sg Luis view from a helicopter.

KOTA KINABALU: Natural forest is declining all over the world, threatened by unsustainable development and tragedies like fire, according to the WorldWide Fund for Nature-Malaysia (WWF-Malaysia).

“We cannot afford to lose more. In Sabah, our forests are our treasures; inside or outside of parks and protected areas. Our forests are Mother Nature’s gift that keep on giving. The least we could do is to keep them alive,” said WWF-Malaysia in a statement, here, Thursday.

WWF-Malaysia explained that the forested area in the south of Sabah are mostly commercial forests that are part of the Sustainable Forest Management License Agreement (SFMLA) governed by the Sabah Forestry Department.

The license holders are companies who enter an agreement with the SFD to manage a commercial forest in a sustainable manner. One example is Forest Management Unit (FMU) no. 7, better known as Sabah Forestry Industry (SFI). It is located at the west bordering both Sarawak and Kalimantan.

Towards the east coast are other FMUs, named FMU 8, 13 and 25. Limited studies have been conducted in these areas, probably due to inaccessibility since the cessation of logging activities by the late 90s and early 2000s.

In the interest of biodiversity and securing key transboundary habitat areas, WWF-Malaysia and WWF Indonesia have conducted preliminary survey on wildlife, particularly transboundary elephant surveys along the international boundaries beginning in 2007.

The preliminary surveys between 2007 and 2012 and focused surveys in 2014-2016 proved that elephants travel along rivers and valleys especially at Agison and Sibuga within FMU 25 to move across the Sabah-Kalimantan boundary.

In 2016, WWF-Malaysia conducted aerial orangutan nest count in FMU 25, which concluded that there are about 361 orangutans concentrated at the far-eastern part of FMU 25.

WWF- Malaysia’s field team were heli-dropped and the teams camped for a week in FMU 25 to conduct wildlife survey by foot and deployed camera traps in 2017/2018.

During the survey, the presence of iconic and protected species such as the Sunda clouded leopard, banteng, Malayan sun bear and Bulwer’s pheasant were captured by camera-traps.

As expected, there is an abundance of bearded pigs, yellow muntjacs, pig-tailed macaques and greater mouse-deers. Unfortunately, the area is also prone to encroachment by illegal gaharu collectors, personally encountered by the field team.

In October 2018, another research team landed by helicopter in FMU 25. The expedition consisted of expert teams from the Sabah Forest Research Centre who carried out botanical and entomology surveys.

The teams found a significant diversity of commercial dipterocarp tree species as well as heath forest tree species. Pitcher plants, rhododendrons and forest mushrooms were also found to be abundant.

Other interesting finds were the pelian fish, softshell turtle, Microhyla (a tiny frog), Giant Mottled Eel, papilionid butterflies and Jungle Jade butterflies.

The most magnificent view from this expedition is the discovery of beautiful waterfalls of Sg Luis and Sg Mengilan. The area has a high potential for eco-tourism, provided there are sufficient investment and sustainable planning.

Even with only preliminary research done so far, it is undeniable that this remote area far to the south is rich in biodiversity and ecosystem services.

“It is important for Sabah to maintain these features so we would not lose another iconic species after the Sumatran rhino,” said WWF-Malaysia.

It stated that FMU 25 is also a large water catchment area which will be extremely important to support future booming towns between Keningau and Tawau as well as over the border- where a future expansion of population in Kalimantan is projected.

With pressing development needs, there is a need to make sure that each option is considered carefully. For example, forestry is no longer an exclusively extractive industry. Carbon is now officially a forest product, and ecotourism might one day replace logging in high-biodiversity areas. This means that safeguarding the forest is also a form of business, and one that makes perfect ecological sense.

“We have learnt from the past that recovering a lost forest is next to impossible. Treatment of damages and re-establishing wildlife habitat is an expensive affair.

“Today, logging in Sabah should strictly be carried out by Reduced Impact Logging methods which are costlier than other conventional methods, but an important investment to safeguard wildlife and water resources and secure timber supplies into the future.

“In the case of FMU 25, it would be in the State and the people’s best interest to maintain our natural forest cover for plant biodiversity, wildlife habitat, future water supply and halting climate change,” it said.

This does not mean that there is no room for development. However, proper development planning should include a High Conservation Value (HCV) Assessment which will guide the developer on conservation management. HCV is a biological, ecological, social or cultural value of outstanding significance.

Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures, a similar concept introduced by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is also applicable when identifying and managing precious natural resources that need to be conserved in a development landscape.

Read more @ http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news/149333/protect-sabah-s-natural-forests-wwf-malaysia/

Malaysian youth worried about climate change and pollution

Sunday, March 15th, 2020

PETALING JAYA: Climate change and pollution are the top global concerns of Malaysian students.

While 68% think major issues like these will worsen by 2030, they’re motivated to make a difference.

According to the Cambridge Assessment International Education’s Global Perspectives survey, 94% took some form of action to tackle their top issue of concern.

Almost all think it’s important to learn about global issues in school. The majority (79%) want careers that allow them to help solve the problem.

And over three-quarter would take into consideration a potential employer’s attitude towards their most important global issue, said the statement that was released recently.

Around the world, over 11,000 students aged between 13 and 19 took part in the online survey to share their views on global issues, how they learn about them, and how their awareness of these issues might impact their future career choices.

The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) and Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities (Mapcu) have noticed more youths going into careers that impact their environment and communities.

MEF executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said talents, especially millennials who see themselves as socially responsible individuals with the potential to change the world, are attracted to green and socially responsible companies.

Among the job considerations of this new breed of workers, was their perceived fit with the organisation, he said.

“Person–organisation fit perception is predicted by the similarity between a job-seeker’s values and the values they perceive to be held by those recruiting.

Mapcu president Datuk Dr Parmjit Singh said students now entering university and joining the workforce had greater sense of keenness to make a difference and make an impact.

“More students are joining social enterprises where they can build careers while using their skills to help society.”

CAREERsense@HELP director Eric Bryan Amaladas noted that the trend was more evident in the urban areas.

Those in the rural areas were still more concerned about making a good living.

By CHRISTINA CHIN.

Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2020/03/15/malaysian-youth-worried-about-climate-change-and-pollution

Teaching benefits of recycling through craft making

Wednesday, February 5th, 2020

PUTATAN: Creating recycled crafts with preschoolers is not only fun, but also teaches kids about the benefits of recycling.

In conjunction with the Chinese New Year Celebration, Tadika Hwa Shiong Putatan held competitions to showcase the pupils’ creativity in making handcrafted red lanterns, dragon and lion heads from recycled material.

And of course, the competitions were assigned for the pupils and their parents to complete together.

By doing this, parents get to spend quality time bonding with their children and at the same time, create lifelong memories to cherish while they were making the craftworks together.

Moreover, the kids learned the importance of recycling, not only from their teachers but also parents.

Kudos to Tadika Hwa Shiong Putatan for reinforcing this message, helping everyone to realise that they too can make a difference in the community – that we care about our environment.

By Ersie Chell Anjumin

Read more @ http://www.newsabahtimes.com.my/nstweb/fullstory/36329

Animal abusers graduate into bigger monsters

Sunday, February 2nd, 2020
Netflix has an interesting movie, entitled Don’t F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer. The documentary tells of a man who kills two kittens and posts the video of his killing on YouTube. A group of animal lovers band together to identify the killer, and stop him from doing the same in the future. Long story short, the killer moves from killing cats to killing a university student, dismembering the body and mailing the body parts to various locations.

In Malaysia, we have seen a rise of animal cruelty and slayings in the past few years. The Department of Veterinary Services reported in October 2019 that there was a 30pc increase of reported animal cruelty in 2018. I am not too sure why people aren’t concerned about the reported rise of animal cruelty.

I recall reading last year about a stray cat and dog which were best of friends. Sadly, they were both poisoned. There was the case of a female cat grieving for her kittens, which were thrown out from the ninth floor of a building. And of course, there was the infamous dog poisoning case in Rawang.

The first issue is that many people will just roll their eyes and go, “Dan, they’re just animals!” Well, that may be the case. But I believe we are meant to be good stewards of what’s in our care.

I also know some people who will say, “Good, those dogs are a nuisance!” or “Good, those cats were doing their business everywhere!” These are the people I may watch out for. If one doesn’t have compassion for animals or the environment, I wonder how deep one’s compassion or empathy for any other person or thing is.

To be honest, if someone were to say to me, “Dan, they’re just animals,” I wouldn’t be convinced by that argument at all. You might as well say the grass is just green and the sky is just blue. That doesn’t mean we have to destroy the green grass, the blue sky and the animals.

More importantly though, I am concerned that there isn’t more widespread concern about the rise in animal abuse and slayings because there is a consensus that there is a great potential for an animal killer to turn his attention towards humans. For example, in 2002 an Australian study found “Animal abuse was a better predictor of sex assault than previous convictions for murder, arson or firearms offences.”

I know: how can? We are Asians, we aren’t western people with western problems and western lifestyle and values, Asians would never turn their attention from killing animals to humans.

Well, really how Asian are we? I am sitting typing out this column on my Apple mobile phone, wearing clothes that do not look Asian at all on a chair that doesn’t resemble anything Asian, just having eaten an apple pie and having drunk a latte.

How Asian is it to hire nannies for children, dump parents in old folks homes, live away from the family household unwed? We use western technology, live western lifestyles, eat western food, consume western media, embrace western pop culture. Who else in the world doesn’t live like this? And we are plagued with social and health issues that every developed or developing country faces: such as stress, lifestyle diseases and, I am afraid to say, mental issues, including the possibility of animal killers becoming murderers.

Western history is filled with serial killers whose violent tendencies were first directed towards animals. Albert DeSalvo (the Boston Strangler) killed 13 women as an adult, but trapped dogs and cats and shot arrows at them through boxes in his youth. The deadly violence that has shattered American schools in recent years has, in most cases, begun with cruelty to animals. High school killers such as Nikolas Cruz and Luke Woodham tortured animals before starting their shooting sprees.

And we are just on the cusp of this. Of course, the West is ahead, but I don’t doubt we are not far behind. My suggestion is we should have far stricter laws and enforcement on animal abuse, and maybe a watchful eye on those who enjoy abusing, torturing and slaying animals.

By: Daniel Chandranayagam,

Read more @ http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/read/3479/animal-abusers-graduate-into-bigger-monsters/

Change mindsets to address plastic pollution

Saturday, January 11th, 2020
Berahaman (second left seated) in a group photo with the students.

KOTA KINABALU: The best way to address plastic pollution is to change people’s mindsets in terms of value and attitude alteration towards much higher environmental sustainability awareness and commitment, said University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Professor Dr Ramzah Dambul.

He said that people especially the younger generation could act as catalysts for adults around them to start reflecting on their habits as consumers

“Plastic pollution started since plastic was first manufactured in 1950 and it became augmented with approximately 8.3 billion tonnes produced worldwide thus far. Ultimately, to address the issue, it starts with changing consumers’ behaviours and mindsets.

“We should encourage people especially the young ones to take action by reducing plastic waste. This also will help them become leaders in their communities to ensure that people join the global fight in tackling the scourge of single-use plastic that is damaging to our environment.

“It fits very well in the agenda to mould the right mindset among the younger generation for a liveable, viable and sustainable future,” he said when officiating Plastic Pollution and Marine Conservation Environmental Education programme at Marine Museum and Aquarium, Borneo Marine Research Institute, UMS.

He was represented by UMS Director of EcoCampus Management Centre, Professor Dr Berahaman Ahmad.

The programme was organised by UMS, involving students from Hokkaido Sapporo Keisei High School, SM All Saints and SK Lok Yuk Inanam who collaboratively surveyed for macroplastic wastes and micplastics at UMS Beach via the quadrate sampling technique.

Ramzah said it is also focuses on the detrimental impacts of plastic pollution and seriousness of microplastics presence in natural environment.

He said besides being able to create a baseline data on microplastics presence at the beaches in UMS, Japan and Australia for future reference, the programme is well suited for UMS as an EcoCampus that has been upholding the EcoCampus agenda to become a reference centre in sustainable development.

He hoped that such programme would be continued in future to address plastic pollution.

“This programme, which was co-coordinated by the EcoCampus Management Centre, is imperative in highlighting the relevance of the university in spearheading sustainable development initiatives in the nation and region, to achieve the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

“Hence, we sincerely hope that Hokkaido Sapporo Keisei High School will continue to collaborate with UMS in co-organising the programme beyond 2020,” he said.

By: Ottey Peter

Read more @ http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news/146218/change-mindsets-to-address-plastic-pollution/

Homestay, turtle egg hatchery: Libaran island’s tourism hope

Tuesday, December 31st, 2019

Breathtaking view of Kampung Pulau Libaran.

SANDAKAN: An island village is set to be the district’s new tourism attraction when a homestay and turtle egg hatchery centre initiated by an environmentalist and tourism entrepreneur get the villagers’ attention.

Alexander Yee, who has been operating the Walai Penyu Turtle Conservation Park on Kampung Pulau Libaran for the past seven years, said his efforts will bear fruit once the nearby residents are ready to use their land for the homestay and hatchery programmes.

He said his efforts, helped by the Wildlife Department’s initiative, produced results in conservation when he leased the villagers’ land not just for profit but also conservation.

“We now want the villagers to work on their homestays and generate their economy while the turtle egg hatchery will also be attractive and conservation efforts are undertaken at the same time,” he said.

Yee, who is also the President of the Friends of Sea Turtles Education Research or Foster, was speaking during a dialogue with villagers on the island.

Among all things, the dialogue touched on the mechanism to establish a homestay and a turtle hatchery as well as launching the Cleanest House Campaign on Libaran Island.

Yee also shared the success story of Walai Penyu which received the Best Tourism Product Award at the Sabah Tourism Awards 2019, recently.

Yee hoped it will inspire the villagers to jointly create a tourism product in Sandakan.

Left: Beach near Kampung Pulau Libaran.
Right: Villagers during the dialogue session.

Kampung Libaran Village Community Management Council Chairman Imran Mohd Unsun said he and the villagers welcomed the initiative and would work together to support Yee’s efforts to conserve turtles and their beaches, a call echoed by Village Head Ramlee Kahar.

The village has 74 homes with 400 residents, most of whom work as fishermen with some having migrated to the cities.

The villagers were also reminded to abide by the law against taking turtle eggs which carries heavy punishment.

One of the residents, Omar Sanma, said he is ready to make his land a turtle egg hatchery.

The former Wildlife Department boat driver was committed to working together to make their village a tourist destination.

A representative of the Sandakan Wildlife Officer, Herman Shahrin, and Dr. James Alin of Foster, were among the dialogue attendees.

Libaran Island is about 45 minutes from Sandakan by speedboat.

By: Mardinah Jikur.

Read more @ http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news/145646/homestay-turtle-egg-hatchery-libaran-island-s-tourism-hope-/

Challenging year as Sabah threatened by wildlife extinction

Sunday, December 29th, 2019

Iman, Malaysia’s last female Sumatran rhinoceros which died on Nov 23.

2019 has been a challenging year for Sabah in terms of preservation and conservation of its wildlife and environment, which has witnessed several tragic events, including the threat of extinction of some of the State’s most endangered species.

This “Land Below the Wind” never escaped media attention on wildlife issues throughout the year.

The death of Iman, Malaysia’s last female Sumatran rhinoceros on Nov 23, was among the most devastating news announced by the Sabah Wildlife Department (JHL) a month earlier.
Sabahans were not alone in feeling the sadness of losing the female rhinoceros, most Malaysians did, and news of Iman’s passing has gained worldwide attention as it is officially extinct in Malaysia.

Iman was pronounced dead at 5.35pm at the Borneo Rhinoceros Sanctuary (BRS) at the Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Lahad Datu, which dealt a major blow to the conservation efforts of the species and other endangered wildlife.

More tragically, Iman’s death occurred about six months after the country lost Tam, the country’s last male Sumatran rhinoceros, which died of heart and lung failure on May 27.

Apart from the rhinoceros, another mammal in Sabah facing extinction is the Borneo pygmy elephant when 24 deaths were recorded this year alone and shockingly, five elephant deaths were reported in the space of four months.

The first Borneo elephant carcass was discovered in the ravine in Sungai Udin, Dumpas, Kalabakan, Tawau on Sept 25 and JHL Sabah described the elephant’s death as a brutal killing as post-mortem results found around 70 bullets embedded in the body.

Several non-governmental organisations offered rewards of up to RM30,000 to those who could provide information and the swift response from police forces and JHL Sabah by launching “Ops Khazanah” led to the detention of five locals and one illegal immigrant along with five firearms, 59 live bullets, 53 bullet shell casing and elephant tusks

The carcass of a pygmy elephant with its tusks removed found in Beluran.

The dust had hardly settled down when another Borneo elephant was found shot dead on Oct 19 at a Beluran oil palm plantation, and two weeks later, a Borneo elephant carcass was found floating in the Kinabatangan River on Nov 3 before another elephant was found dead in Sukau on Nov 16!

Most recently, another elephant carcass was found by a farm worker in Bakapit, Lahad Datu, on Dec 9.

Since 2010,145 cases of elephant deaths have been recorded in Sabah, among others, due to poaching, revenge, poisoning, accidents, illnesses and the rest are unknown.

The numbers recorded over the past 10 years are huge especially given the state of elephant species in Sabah that is on the verge of extinction with only about 2,000 species remaining.

It is undeniable that wildlife hunters are a major issue across the country and has received the attention of Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador, who has taken drastic steps by launching “Ops Bersepadu Khazanah” (OBK) to curb the activities of illegal poachers of tigers, pangolins, porcupines and elephants for profit.

In fact, there are VVIPs in the country having been identified to be actively involved in illegal hunting around the jungle in the peninsula.

The war on poaching has not stopped the police from doubling their efforts in hunting down the culprits by checking on restaurants serving exotic menus of these protected animals.

By: Bernama.

Read more @ http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news/145566/challenging-year-as-sabah-threatened-by-wildlife-extinction/


Climate talks: Inaction borders on criminal

Monday, December 23rd, 2019
Activists protesting against climate change as the COP25 climate summit is held in Madrid, Spain, on Dec 9. Few serious commitments have emerged to meet the pledges made in Paris in 2015. REUTERS PIC

The recent climate talks in Madrid ended with a disgraceful whimper.

Outside of Europe, few serious commitments have emerged to meet the pledges made in Paris in 2015 — an exasperating outcome that reveals a lack of honest conviction to address an issue threatening the very survival of some countries in the foreseeable future, and every one of us in the not-much-longer term.

It is simply inexcusable that global fossil fuel emissions have risen four per cent since Paris, even as the decibel level of scientific sirens has risen sharply, imploring us to adopt “transformative change” in an “emergency response”.

Greenhouse gas emissions are increasing in many of the biggest emitter countries like the US, China and Japan, which is planning to export coal generators and build more coal-fired power plants — the only Group of Seven nation still doing so.

Incredibly, as this dawning, existential crisis becomes more visible on the horizon, we have tip-toed around the problem and the powerful economic interests behind it.

Could there be a better illustration than this, noted by a couple of COP25 observers?: “The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement ran 16 pages, but didn’t mention the words ‘fossil fuels’, ‘coal’, ‘oil’, or ‘gas’ once.

“It’s as if no one at Alcoholics Anonymous ever mentioned ‘whiskey, beer or wine’.

“Unlike the World Health Organisation, which bans tobacco lobbyists from taking part in negotiations about tobacco cessation efforts, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change has no protections against industry corruption.”

Compounding the consequences of our negligence, in November seven eminent scientists, writing in the journal Nature, reported their conclusion that more than half the “tipping points” identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change decades ago have been activated, raising the spectre of abrupt and irreversible climate changes.

These include the thaw of Arctic permafrost and the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, both massive reservoirs that now threaten to release billions of additional tonnes of carbon.

Inevitably, the greatest burdens of climate change will fall disproportionately on poor countries, i.e. those least responsible for the problem.

The Bahamas, for example, responsible for just 0.02 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions, suffered 72 deaths and RM13.6 billion in losses as entire towns were blown away by Category 5 Hurricane Dorian, which stalled and parked over the country last August.

Notonly are less fortunate countries typically the hardest-hit victims of extreme weather, they’re also the most vulnerable to creeping threats like rising sea levels and crippling droughts.

Like citizens of other island nations, Bahamians justifiably contend that North Americans, the Japanese, Saudi Arabians, Australians and others who built their economies by burning fossil fuels are morally obligated to help less developed, more vulnerable countries.

And yet in Madrid, only a relatively paltry sum was negotiated for climate-related losses.

Wealthier countries broadly agreed to study the issue, with the US most visibly anxious to exclude itself from chipping in, to indemnify itself from liability.

It and other wealthy countries reportedly prefer to provide disaster loss and damage money as charity on their own terms, unbound by any international rules.

Meanwhile, negotiators at Madrid’s marathon talks ended up postponing to 2020 a key decision on how to regulate global carbon markets, an area of concern that dominated COP25.

The Paris agreement allows countries to set rules for trading in carbon credits.

Ideally, wealthier countries would help developing countries pay for projects such as land restoration or conversion to cleaner fuels while adopting more ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals at home.

But in the absence of proper rules, richer countries could simply buy a way to maintain their own emissions’ levels.

Malaysia must step up and fully meet its obligations, in the context of “common but differentiated responsibilities”, a 28-year-old principle in climate talks that our delegation in Madrid, led by Deputy Minister Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis of the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry, strongly endorsed, and rightly so.

Malaysia has been a strong advocate of this principle, first introduced during the negotiations at the Earth Summit in 1992.

As a moderate nation, we are in a powerful position to help broker more action but credibility demands we begin with “clean hands”.

In 2015, leaders pledged to limit global warming to “well below” 2.0 degrees Celsius, while trying to remain below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

But, to quote the World Resources Institute: “The can-do spirit that birthed the Paris agreement feels like a distant memory today.”

The disconnect between the lack of progress on the Paris pledges, between the overwhelming scientific consensus and what’s being done, borders on criminal.

In October, more than 300 scientists from 20 nations called for peaceful, non-violent protests and direct action, “even if this goes beyond the bounds of the current law”.

And if that is what it takes to produce a change in course, it has my full endorsement too.

By TAN SRI DR ZAKRI ABDUL HAMID.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2019/12/550148/climate-talks-inaction-borders-criminal

SPAN threatens stern action against those dumping waste into manholes

Monday, December 23rd, 2019

PETALING JAYA: The National Water Service Commission (SPAN) has warned that stern action will be taken against those responsible for illegally dumping waste into manholes following the shutdown of water and sewage treatment plants in the Klang Valley over the weekend.

It said in a statement on Sunday (Dec 22) that action would be taken under the Water Service Industry Act 2006 to serve as a deterrent.

According to SPAN, the on-going water disruption was caused by people who dumped waste into manholes, leading to pollution in Sungai Semenyih.

As a result, the Sungai Semenyih water treatment plant was shut down, followed by the plant at Bukit Tampoi.

This affected water supply to 1.5 million residents in Hulu Langat, Sepang, Putrajaya, Petaling Jaya and Kuala Langat.

“After completing investigations, we will forward the case to the public prosecutor for further action,” SPAN said.

The Indah Water Konsortium’s Bukit Mahkota sewage treatment plant was also forced to shut down, pending activities to clear the manholes in the vicinity.

SPAN and all relevant parties, including Lembaga Urus Air Selangor (Luas), the Department of Environment, Air Selangor and IWK, have taken steps to rectify the problem to ensure the affected treatment plants would be up and running as soon as possible, said the statement.

SPAN will hold a meeting with relevant agencies on Monday (Dec 23) to discuss preventive measures that can be employed to check illegal dumping of waste to avoid shutting down water treatment plants in the future.