Promise

Balancing Economic Growth with Environmental Protection

ANALYSIS

The last Parliamentary sitting of 2019 ended on 5 Dec 2019. Here’s the summary of progress on PH’s Institutional and Political Reform 
Promise 39 Balancing economic growth with environmental protection

Sub-promise

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CAP urges govt to ban sand exports

30 June 2020

The federal government was urged by the Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) to ban sand exports citing its dangerous effect on the society and environment. CAP’s president Mohideen Abdul Kader said the issuance of the Approved Permits (APs) for sand exports will have to stop or it will cause permanent damage.

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Government issues 11 APs for river sand exports

26 June 2020

11 approved permits (APs) have been issued by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources to allow for river sand and other minerals exports to Brunei, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, Hong Kong, India, Japan and Maldives. Malaysia had previously banned the export of sea sand for environmental reasons without the Prime Minister’s approval. One of the companies that has been issued such AP is Pekan-based Legasi Lestari Sdn Bhd founded in 2012 with validity until July 2027. The company commenced exporting river sand from 2017. ACE Market-listed Kanger International Bhd will form a joint venture with Legasi Lestari to export sand to China and Hong Kong.

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Orang Asli set up blockades as loggers return 

18 June 2020

Loggers are back trying to continue where they left off during the movement control order. It prompted two Orang Asli communities to block the entrances to their villages. A bulldozer driver was asked to leave. It ruined the Orang Asli’s life crops such as rubber trees, durian, rambutan trees, sweet potato and banana farm. A police report was lodged at the Gua Musang police station.

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Tambun residents upset about land clearing activity at foot of Gunung Panjang for third time since 2011

11 June 2020

Gunung Panjang’s foothill is cleared off for the third time since 2011. The last it was cleared was back in 2017. It was alleged that the contractors lied about their intentions when there were mine ores found at the limestone hill. The State Islamic Affairs and Malay Customs Council (MAIPK), who owns a Muslim Cemetery Reserve on the hill confirmed what Wong Pek Yin, 53, the representative of the residents of Panorama Tambun Perdana (the Dales). She said that a letter from MAIPK was sent to the Mentri Besar’s Office dated November 1, 2019 on it’s status as a cemetery reserve. This has affected the stability of the hill. According to Wong, the Perak Minerals and Geoscience Department has certified that the hill is sensitive to any physical disturbances due to the colluvial deposits, which consist of soft soil and limestone.

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Spike in illegal dumping activity during MCO

5 June 2020

Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) deputy president Najmuddin Jemain said residents were confined to their homes during the movement control order while the culprits took the chance to dump construction, bulk and domestic waste at illegal dumpsites when the caretakers of the dumpsites are not around. An excavator, a bulldozer and four lorries were confiscated.

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Pilot project to open coal market set for 4Q

12 February 2020

As part of Malaysia’s effort to liberalise the country’ electricity industry, the country is open to the idea of fuel power plants which cover coal and natural gas. The trials on natural gas last year were successful as it saved over RM5 million in two weeks through a partnership between Shell Malaysia and Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB). The government may open the market for coal power plants to reduce the  cost of electricity generation. Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister (MESTECC) Yeo Bee Yin said that a pilot project to open the coal power plants is expected to commence by the fourth quarter (4Q). The government seeks new incentives to encourage independent power producers (IPPs) to source for cheaper fuels. The trial is part of the government’s 10-year plan to reform the power industry.

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MESTECC to conduct 30,000 enforcement actions

11 February 2020

The Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC) will be working with state governments on law enforcement which include prohibition orders, cessation of operations, penalties and court actions. is expected to collaborate with state governments to conduct 30,000 enforcement actions nationwide this year.

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Perak tetap teruskan projek hidro mini Ulu Geruntum

4 February 2020 

Walaupun Pakatan Harapan menjanjikan pembatalan projek hodroeletrik mini di Ulu Geruntum di Gopeng, Perak, Adun Teja Sandrea Ng berkata ia tidak dapat dihentikan kerana ia diluluskan ketika pentadbiran Barisan Nasional (BN). Kini, kerajaan terikat secara undang-undang untuk meneruskannya. Orang Asli suku Semai berpendapat bahawa kegagalan untuk menamatkan projek ini yang telah menceroboh tanah adat mereka akan menjejaskan tempat tinggal mereka. Ng berkata kerajaan negeri mempertimbangkan kebimbangan Orang Asli dan pihak berkepentingan dalam pelancongan, berhubung kesan projek itu terhadap alam sekitar.

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Malaysia’s environmental laws don’t relate to climate change: Academician

21 January 2020

The speakers at a forum entitled “The Impact of Climate Change & Anthropogenic Hazards on the Marine Environment in Malaysia” said that while Malaysia has the Environmental Quality Act (EQA) 1974 to protect the environment but has no provision for climate change. The Renewable Energy Act 2011 is focused on reducing fossil fuel but not comprehensive enough by reducing carbon emission. 

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Govt aims to increase net energy metering output to 300MW: Yeo

8 January 2020

After the launch of the Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic, the minister of Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (Mestecc), Yeo Bee Yin said Mestecc will increase the net energy metering (NEM) programme output to 300 megawatts (MW) this year. Last year, the Sustainable Energy Development Authority Malaysia (Seda) approved 102MW under the NEM programme. With the new 300 MW NEM policy, a ‘one-on-one’ offset basis will be used.

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Gunung Pulai faces existential threat

5 January 2020

A historical mountain in Baling, Kedah is under the threat of destruction – The 613m-tall Gunung Pulai was formed by the collision of tectonic plates about 450 million years ago. In 1996, the then state government approved a limestone quarry project to Yiked Holdings Sdn Bhd, a company under the Kedah Islamic Foundation. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)’s approval has since expired and was renewed in 2014 but expired again in February. Previously, the EIAs that were done did not include the mandatory Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA) of the area. A new EIA assessment will be carried out to authorize the extraction of limestone. The choice now is between executing the mining project versus preserving the area for eco-tourism.

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Pollution in Muar river disrupts water supply to 35k households

2 January 2020

About 35,000 households in Muar have to deal with water supply disruption as Muar river is contaminated by ammonia. Cause and source is yet to be determined.

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Rawang: Glycerine dumping causes foamy water, kills fish

31 December 2019

The water foamed up at the drain near Sungai Guntong. After an investigation was launched by LUAS, Air Selangor and Hulu Selangor District Council, it was found that glycerine waste is dumped into the Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) public sewage manhole in Kamunting Industrial area, Bukit Sentosa. IWK had been directed to quickly carry out cleaning work at the manhole.

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DBKL orders Lembah Pantai construction site to close

20 December 2019

Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) received complaints about the high number of mosquitoes in the construction site at Angkasapuri in Lembah Pantai. DBKL ordered for it to be closed yesterday due to sanitary and hygiene violations.

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Selangor to investigate burning of chemical drums in Jeram

26 November 2019

The state is investigating if the dumping and burning of more than 200 chemical drums which exploded at 16th Mile, Jalan Kapar in Jeram was done on purpose.

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Drums at illegal dumpsite may contain discarded paint, solvents, says DoE

25 November 2019

The 244 drums that caught fire and exploded at Kampung Tambak Jawa early this morning are believed to have contained discarded paint and solvents.

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Pasir Gudang air will be monitored by new auto gas detectors

19 November 2019

25 automatic gas detectors called Photo-Ionised Detectors (PID) are being installed for instantaneous alert system for immediate action according to the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin in Pasir Gudang. PID would be able to detect the total volatile organic compound in the air. Yeo said the Department of Environment’s (DoE) machinery has also been strengthened with the procurement of additional equipment, including a Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GCMS), which cost RM1.1 million; a Gas Chromatography with Flame Ionisation Detector, which cost RM1.2 million; as well as six mobile toxic gas measurement machines, costing RM2.34 million. The DoE is collaborating with academicians, technical departments, agencies and industries to conduct a Loading Analysis and Carrying Capacity study which incorporates air, soil and water conditions in Pasir Gudang.

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Landslide risk in Bangsar neighbourhood may stem from land clearing

18 November 2019

For two years, Bangsar’s Jalan Abdullah residents have been worried about the slope after the heavy rains next to their homes. The Selamatkan Kuala Lumpur (SKL) civil society group cautioned the possibility of landslides next to Jalan Abdullah homes as a result of land clearing and lack of preventive measures which caused soil erosion. SKL’s adviser Datuk M. Ali has called upon Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to take action against those responsible for causing the soil erosion. In 2012, S P Setia Bhd obtained a parcel of land owned by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) which is connected to Bukit Persekutuan next to Jalan Abdullah through a land swap deal for the construction of a new NIH facility in Setia Alam, Shah Alam.

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Ulu Muda Timber Concessionaires

Disclose RM1.5 billion claim against govt, Kedah MB told

29 May 2020

Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor is pressured by the Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) has urged to come forward and divulge the names of the timber concessionaires and the value they are claiming for the understanding of the public. The Kedah government under Sanusi is facing a claim of more than RM1 billion by the timber concession holders but his predecessor Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir had disputed it. Mukhriz said that the issue of compensation had been agreed upon and what was needed was only its implementation in a meeting with the timber concession holders. CAP has also asked for the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate the propriety and legality of the timber logging approval and a report with recommendations to improve the law and procedures for approving concessions. CAP expects those who have misused their powers to be charged. CAP added that the Kedah state government should not renew timber concessions that had been cancelled or grant new concessions. Sanusi said that Mukhriz knew about the RM1 billion compensation payable to some 40 timber concession holders after rights to log in permanent forest reserves were withdrawn. Sanusi added that the problem only appears when the previous administration decided to halt logging in select areas of the Ulu Muda Permanent Forest Reserve on Aug 30, 2018. The Ulu Muda Forest Reserve, with an area of about 100,000 hectares, is an important source of water for the people of Kedah, Perlis and Penang.

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Logging concession damages claims in Kedah reaches RM1.5b – Kedah MB

27 May 2020

Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said that the latest claim for damages filed by companies whose logging concessions in Kedah have been revoked now stands at RM1.5 billion. Previously, he claimed that it stood at RM1 billion, involving about 40 companies with a total of 131 concessions and covering 22,098 hectares in the Ulu Muda Forest Reserve. Sanusi explained logging activities will be allowed again in order to bypass lawsuits was merely a proposal. The decision of the state government to freeze and stop logging in the catchment area was made at a meeting on Aug 30, 2018.

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Loggers must be given replacement forests or RM1 bil payout, says Kedah

26 May 2020

The Kedah government stated that there are no logging expansion plans but rather finding ways to avoid paying RM1 billion in compensation to licensed loggers after their concessions in permanent forest reserves were withdrawn. Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor has said that 40 concession holders were previously allowed to carry out logging before the ban was imposed. The RM1 billion compensation claim is disputed by the former MB Mukhriz Mahathir has disputed the RM1 billion compensation claim saying the amount has drastically inflated.

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Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve (KLNFR)​

Selangor MB: Proposed degazettement of Kuala Langat forest reserve due to fires; to benefit ECRL

21 February 2020

Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari said that 40 percent of the Kuala Langat forest reserve has already been degraded from fires and it will be a fire hazard in the future. He wanted to develop the area where it will be surrounded by a Selangor Business Capital development by the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) next to Gamuda Cove owned by Gamuda. He admitted that the economy will benefit from this especially as the planned East Coast Rail Link route (ECRL) will go around the forest reserve. This is met with unyielding opposition from the Orang Asli community and environmentalists.

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Selangor govt to replace 931 hectares of forest reserves that will be de-gazetted

20 February 2020

Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari said the state will replace the 931 hectares that will be de-gazetted from the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve (KLNFR) area. He dismissed social media concerns as premature even though Kuala Langat MP Dr Xavier Jayakumar said the green lungs should not be destroyed for development and added that he was concerned about the Orang Asli villages and natural habitat there. Selangor PKR Youth communications director Mohd Khairool Ngadon also protested against the replacement.

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District office ignoring proof of land ownership, says Kuala Langat Orang Asli

20 February 2020

The Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve will be de-gazetted for mixed-development projects where the Orang Asli has been living and have documented evidence signed during British Malaya of their land ownership. The Department of Orang Asli Development (Jakoa) also acknowledged the land as being owned by the Orang Asli. However, the district office told the villagers that part of their land overlaps with state-owned land.

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Henti cubaan tukar status Hutan Simpan Kuala Langat – Xavier

14 February 2020

Menteri Air, Tanah dan Sumber Asli Dr A Xavier Jayakumar, juga MP Kuala Langat berkata bahawa rakyat Malaysia tidak boleh “memusnahkan paru-paru hijau atas dasar pembangunan”. Beliau menyuarakan bantahan terhadap cadangan untuk membatalkan warta kawasan seluas 930 hektar di kawasan Hutan Simpan (Utara) Kuala Langat. Kawasan yang diwartakan tersebut merupakan penempatan Orang Asli dan habitat hidupan liar. Beliau juga berkata kerajaan mempunyai komitmen untuk penghutanan semula. Ini boleh dilihat dalam peruntukan sebanyak RM150 juta di bawah Rancangan Malaysia ke-11 untuk menanam 100 juta pokok dalam tempoh lima tahun dalam usaha memelihara dan menanam semula hutan yang telah diterokai.

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Sg Semenyih Water Treatment Plant Closure due to Pollution

Stiffer penalties for water polluters, says Xavier

28 January 2020

The Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Dr A Xavier Jayakumar said the Water Services Industry Act 2006 will be amended to reinforce penalties on water pollution offences. The Water Resources Pollution Action and Monitoring Committee proposed that the authorities be given the power to arrest individuals and seize vehicles suspected of being used in pollution incidents. The committee comprises of representatives from the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry; International Trade and Industry Ministry; Housing and Local Government Ministry; the Royal Malaysia Police, the Department of Environment, Road Transport Department, the National Water Services Commission and state governments. The amendments will be tabled in Parliament in October.

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Ops Bau: One factory sealed, 106 inspected in Selangor, N. Sembilan

31 December 2019 

Following the first and recent closure of the Sungai Semenyih water treatment plant, and investigation was carried out. “Ops Bau” is being implemented and one factory was sealed. A total of 36 compounds and 17 directive notices were issued for those who have failed to comply with the Environmental Quality Act 1974 said the Department of Environment (DoE). On December 25, the DoE and the Negri Sembilan Fire and Rescue Department launched an investigation upon receiving complaints on the discovery of scheduled waste disposed on the banks of Singai Belihoi, Mantin, Negri Sembilan. Preventive measure has been taken by cleaning up the banks of Sungai Belihoi have been put in place to avoid contaminating Sungai Linggi, one of the main sources of raw water supply in Seremban.

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MWA: Crack down on waste dumping at rivers

25 December 2019

The Malaysian Water Association (MWA) has urged for stronger enforcement and the revision of laws pertaining to river pollution to stop the illegal waste dumping by unethical parties. MWA president Datuk Abdul Kadir Din said industrial water pollution issues should have been managed more effectively with sustainable steps moving forward.

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DoE checks 37 factories in probe into Semenyih treatment plant closure

24 December 2019

The Environment Department (DoE) said that 37 factories in Selangor have been checked and 28 comply to the Environmental Quality Act 1974. Nine noties and 17 compounds were slapped on non-compliant factories and the checks will lasts for a week. The checks are putting an emphasis on factories that generate solvent and oil wastes, the pollutants that led to the shut down of the Semenyih plant.

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‘Use holistic approach to tackle worsening water supply pollution issue’

24 December 2019

Alliance for Safe Community chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye calls for stronger enforcement of penalties against the culprits and that the tabling of the amendment to the Environmental Quality Act 1974 to be sped up.

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MB:Impose heavier penalties on perpetrators

24 December 2019

The culprit responsible for polluting the water supply has yet to be identified. Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari called for stricter penalties to be imposed on those who are found guilty for water disruptions happened too often. Selangor Water Management Authority (LUAS) is currently pumping water from Tasik Idaman to Sungai Semenyih to water down the odour caused by the pollution. In May, Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said the Environmental Quality Act 1974 will be replaced with a new act where stronger enforcement and stricter penalties can be imposed on the culprits.  

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Water supply has resumed in some affected areas, rest to follow

24 December 2019

At 1pm yesterday, Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Air Selangor) has announced that water supply is gradually returning in affected areas, subsequent  to the suspension of water supply from the Sungai Semenyih Water Treatment Plant. Air Selangor staff are working on stabilising the pressure of the main pipeline and main pools, thus the resumption will be done in stages within 72 hours. 

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Span files police report over pollution

23 December 2019

The National Water Services Commission (SPAN)’s chairman Charles Santiago said SPAN filed a police report yesterday over the pollution that caused the halt of the Sungai Semenyih and Bukit Tampoi Water Treatment Plants. He said the alleged sabotage linked to the dumping of illegal waste materialized because of the three similar cases in Selangor before this incident. The closure of the water treatment plants affected water supplies to 1.5 million residents in Selangor. 

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Water supply will resume tonight, says Selangor MB

22 December 2019

According to the Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari, water supply should resume at 11pm tonight and that the area will have CCTVs installed from now on. The shut down was caused by waste poured down Indah Water Konsortium manholes in Bandar Putera Mahkota. The pollution had been cleaned by 4pm, and water in Sungai Semenyih was safe for use with some unpleasant odour. Local authorities in Kajang have been ordered to permanently seal manhole covers in Bandar Putera Mahkota.

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64 dubious Kuala Lumpur land deals

Defence closes case in Ku Nan corruption trial

30 June 2020

Four witnesses were called in as the defense closed Tengku Adnan’s bribery acceptance case. September 11 is set for oral submissions hearing from both parties.

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Ku Nan’s defence trial to resume on June 29

19 May 2020

On October 14 2019, the High Court ordered former Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, 69, to enter his defence on the charge after finding that the prosecution had succeeded in establishing a prima facie in the case. Tengku Adnan, who is charged with receiving a bribe of RM2 million from a businessman stands to resume his defence trial on June 29.

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Hakim tarik diri dengar kes rasuah Tengku Adnan

18 May 2020

Dalam penghakiman 14 muka surat bertarikh 15 Mei, Hakim Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang berkata Hakim Mahkamah Tinggi, Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali mungkin bersikap berat sebelah walaupun beliau telah membuat deklarasi bahawa beliau tidak akan bersikap prejudis terhadap Tengku Adnan selepas menghakimi kes ahli perniagaan Datuk Tan Eng Boon. Mahkamah Rayuan hari ini memutuskan supaya hakim Mahkamah Tinggi menarik diri daripada mendengar perbicaraan kes rasuah bekas Menteri Wilayah Persekutuan, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor disebabkan wujud bahaya yang beliau mungkin bersikap berat sebelah.

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Ku Nan wins appeal to replace judge in RM1 million graft case

12 February 2020

High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali had been disqualified from hearing former minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor’ on-going RM1 million corruption case. A member of the Court of Appeals said the appeal had merit and asked for appellate court’s intervention. The new judge can choose to deal with the case afresh or to continue where Nazlan left off.

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Tengku Adnan hurts knee, on six-day MC from fall, RM2m bribery trial now on Feb 18

20 January 2020

Due to a “nasty fall”, the former minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor will not be able to be in court for his trial of the allegation of taking RM2 million in bribes as the Umno treasurer. Tengku Adnan is currently on a six-day medical leave after suffering a fall in the courtroom last week. The trial was initially scheduled to go on today and tomorrow, before resuming on March 25 to March 27. The judge then fixed additional trial dates tentatively from February 18 to February 20, and from March 4 to March 5, while also retaining the trial dates of March 25 to March 27.

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It’s merely a suggestion to DBKL, not an order, says Ku Nan over land sale 

17 January 2020

Former federal territories minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor also known as Ku Nan said he did not order Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to follow his suggestion over a proposal by Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd to buy two plots of land in Bandar Tun Razak to build affordable houses. Ku Nan is accused of receiving RM2 million from Aset Kayamas’s director, Chai Kin Kong, knowingly the businessman had transactions with the federal territories ministry which was under him at the time.

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I didn’t need RM2 mil ‘political donation’, Ku Nan tells court 

17 January 2020

Former federal territories minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said the RM2 million given by Chai Kin Kong, a director in Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd to his company, Tadmansori Holdings Sdn Bhd in 2016 was a “political donation”. It was intended to help Umno in the Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar by-elections on June 18, 2016. He added that he is a successful businessman who didn’t need the money for personal use.

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Ku Nan’s testimony offers peek into how BN funds election campaigns

17 January 2020

While testifying at the High Court, BN secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor’s revealed that it is “usual practice” for Umno to raise funds for by-election campaigns through “political donations”. Allegedly, the director of Aset Kayamas Sdn Bhd who’s a regular donor to UMNO and BN since 1999, did the same by financing the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections in 2016.

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22 August 2019

Dr Noraini Ahmad, the chair for the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has said that a special audit on the sale of land owned by Kuala Lumpur City Hall with the assistance of the National Audit Department. This audit is crucial to help the PAC to complete their report before tabling it to parliament. 

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PAC probes dubious DBKL land deals, the mayor called to testify

21 August 2019 – Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan, the Mayor of Kuala Lumpur was called to testify before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). Wong Kah Woh, PAC deputy chair, said that the mayor and a few DBKL directors briefed the PAC on the structure of city hall and the jurisdiction of the Federal Territories Minister. They were called up as part of an ongoing probe by the PAC on the dubious land deals in Kuala Lumpur during the tenure of the former Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan. 

PAC to summon AG, MACC Chief on DBKL land sale

11 April 2019 –  Noraini Ahmad, the newly appointed Public Accounts Committee chairperson, said that PAC will summon Attorney-General Tommy Thomas and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdul. This is to get their testimony over the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) land transaction case. The two are expected to give their testimony on 23 April 2019. Previously, the MACC has investigated 64 dubious land deals by DBKL and of which 48 have been cleared by them on 18 July 2018. She said at a press conference on 11 April 2019 to confirm her appointment as the PAC chair.

C4 Center Press Statement (10 October 2019) – DBKLand Sale Needs Scrutiny And A High Degree Of Accountability-minister Khalid Samad Must Tell All

10 October 2018 – C4 Center issued a press statement on 10 October 2019 to express their concern with the recent developments surrounding the DBKL land sales to private developers worth 4.28 billion ringgit, where a lack of clarity and opaque explanations from current FT Minister Khalid Samad, have left the current status of the land deals appearing suspicious. Please read the full press release here.

MACC narrowing probe to 16 DBKL plots, says DAP rep

18 July 2018 – According to Lim Lip Eng, DAP MP for Kepong, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has narrowed down its probe to 16 plots of land belonging to Kuala Lumpur City Hall which had allegedly been sold without open tender when Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor was the Federal Territories Minister. 

Kepong MP lodges MACC report over RM4.28b DBKL land sale

16 May 2018 – Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng has lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today to investigate 64 parcels of land sold by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) under the purview of the former Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor from 2013 to 2018. According to Lim, the 64 lands have a combined area of 424.29 acres and a total transaction value of RM4.28 billion. Meanwhile, Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh lodged a separate MACC report against Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) over the land sale in Taman Rimba Kiara, Taman Tun Dr Ismail to stop the proposed project on the site. Jointly undertaken by Malton Bhd and YWP, the project involves eight blocks of high-end serviced apartments and one block of affordable housing. She added that the land in Taman Rimba Kiara was acquired by YWP under Tengku Adnan’s purview and then sold to the developer in the name of providing housing for the longhouse residents.

Taman Rimba Kiara

C4 Special Investigation: Taman Rimba Kiara Land Grab! - (15 March 2019)

C4 Centre exposes serious conflict of interest and complex web of connections between former FT Minister, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan and property tycoon, Tan Sri Desmond Lim Siew Choon (Malton Berhad)

Taman Rimba Kiara - The Land Grab Infographic

Before the change of government following the general elections on 9 May 2018, C4 Center has been a strong advocate for good governance which includes the development of a framework that prevents any form of conflict of interest from occurring at various levels of government.

In light of C4 Center’s unwavering commitment to advocating good governance agenda, we have taken the initiative to research on a policy paper on conflict of interest, and how to combat the corruption agenda in Malaysia. 

The connection between Tengku Adnan, former FT Minister and the directors of the companies mentioned in the info-graphic will raise queries as to serious conflict of interest in the dealings.

TTDI folk have no locus standi, lawyer tells court 

7 February 2020

Lawyer Cecil Abraham said Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) residents and the joint management body (JMB) of condominiums have no legal standing (locus standi) to object to the development at Taman Rimba Kiara. Abraham representing Malton Bhd and Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan, said the residents are not owners of the land next to the development and the park is not public. Save Taman Rimba, comprised of a group of TTDI residents appealed for a judicial review to challenge the development approval. It is a venture between Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) and Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Malton Bhd. The Federal Territories minister has to be chairman of YWP, which critics argued that it is a conflict of interest.

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TTDI residents had to demand Taman Rimba Kiara traffic report, lawyer tells court

15 January 2020

Lawyer Gurdial Singh who represents the TTDI residents in the fight against the development of a condominium project by the Federal Territories Ministry  said that even if there was no legal obligation for the developer to provide the project’s traffic impact assessment (TIA) report, the developer should still have to do so out of “material consideration” for the residents to decide on further action. The TIA was presented after the legal challenge when they were questioned.

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Malton Scaled-down Project starts next year

5 September 2019According Facebook postings, Malton Berhad, through its subsidiary Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd and joint venture partner Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) will develop a 3.4 ha site at the park. The project is expected to start in 2020. Malton said on its website, that they have compromised and agreed to scale down the size of the project in the spirit of goodwill. The developer also said they will upgrade the facilities at the park for the benefit of the community with RM2.5 million to RM3 million worth of enhancements.  

TTDI residents say not to scaled-down Rimba Kiara project

22 July 2019 –  Hannah Yeoh said that residents at Taman Tun Dr Ismail and Bukit Kiara Longhouse wants the development to built with the 1.8 ha longhouse area in the park or discarded altogether. The Deputy Woman, Family and Community Development Minister said that she and residents have been reasonable and proposed a clear solution to the government at a gathering at the TTDI Community Center on 22 July 2019 to deliver updates to the residents there.  Yeoh, also added that she has written to the Latheefa Koya, the newly appointed Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to look into the issue it was alleged that Tengku Adnan, the former Federal Territories Minister, was alleged to have used unlawful actions to get the approval for the Taman Rimba Kiara development project. 

C4 Center Press Statement (7 July 2019) – Tengku Adnan’s Interest In Pavilion Genting Highlands Project – Was It Payoff For Taman Rimba Kiara Approvals?

7 July 2019 – C4 Center issued a press statement on 7 July 2019 to express their concern that a potential conflict of interest involving the former Federal Territories Minister, Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and the proposed development at Taman Rimba Kiara. C4 Center conducted further analysis on the matter and wished to present their findings. C4 Center found several parallel events that occurred at the same time during a period of 2016 and 2017, which points to a relationship between the activities surrounding the Taman Rimba Kiara project and the Pavillion Genting Highland project with companies associated with Tengku Adnan. Please read the full press release here.  

Taman Rimba Kiara issue to be settled by the end of July, says FT Minister

30 June 2019 – Khalid Samad, Federal Territories Minister, said that six ministries involved in the Taman Rimba Kiara saga has received the necessary Cabinet papers on the matter and currently reviewing it. Khalid said they will give their comments on his proposal, present it to the Cabinet and the matter should be decided by the end of July. Khalid said this at a press conference after launching the National Youth Day 2019 celebration (Kuala Lumpur level) on 30 June 2019. The same article also mentioned that residents of Taman Tun Dr Ismail are unhappy with the project as it would still diminish the limited green lung spaces in the city. 

Everyone gets something in Taman Rimba Kiara solution, says Khalid

3 June 2019 – In a short video on Khalid Samad’ Facebook Page on 3 June 2019, the Federal Territories Minister said that his solution to the Taman Rimba Kiara saga will give all parties involved some of what they asked for. He also said that under the new solution the developer will get to build half of they asked for, the residents will get a bigger park, the longhouse residents will get free housing from DBKL and the government won’t need to pay the RM150 million compensation to the developer. He assured that the park won’t be demolished. He reiterated that this is the best possible solution given the situation where the government has to honour its contract with the developer. 

AG will be asked to Mediate in Dispute over Taman Rimba Kiara

20 May 2019 – In a meeting on 20 May 2019 attended by Khalid Samad (Federal Territory Minister), Ambiga Sreenavasan (lawyer-activist) and Cynthia Gabriel (Executive Director for C4 Center) it was decided that the Attorney-General will be invited to mediate the dispute over the Taman Rimba Kiara development project after all parties met at impasse. This meeting was called by Khalid Samad after Cynthia and Ambiga spoke to the media about the issue at hand rather than directly to him. In response, Cynthia said the focus now is to get Tommy Thomas, the attorney-general, to verify the legality of the contracts for the Taman Rimba Kiara project.  

No Development on Taman Rimba Kiara, For Now, Says Yayasan

16 May 2019 – Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan CEO, Zainalnizam Zainun, said that no development in Taman Rimba Kiara or its surrounding area pending a development order from the government. Zainalnizam said this on 16 May at a press conference at Taman Rimba Kiara. He also added that only the development order can be issued after a decision to the Cabinet.

Khalid Samad to propose halving Taman Rimba Kiara development size

22 April 2019 Khalid Samad, Federal Territories Minister, said he will propose to Cabinet to reduce the proposed Taman Rimba Kiara high-rise project by 50 per cent. He told StarMetro that the new plan will comprise of 878 units of high-end apartments in four blocks of 41 to 45 storey buildings and 204 units of affordable apartments in a 17 storey building. This is a reduction from the original 2,277 units of high-end apartments in eight blocks of 42 to and 350 units in eight blocks of 42 to 52 storey buildings and 350 units of affordable apartments in a 29 storey block. Allegedly, this new plan was agreed upon by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and one of the two longhouse residents’ associations. He said he is in line with the decision by Cabinet to honour the promise made to the longhouse residence and get them the best possible terms. He also added that the government cannot cancel contracts as it will lead to lost confidence by investors.  He added that the size of the development will be 3.2 ha from the original 4.85 ha and the development will not encroach into the park.

Cabinet to Decide on Taman Rimba Kiara Project 

25 March 2019 – At a press conference on 25 March 2019, Khalid Samad, Federal Territories Minister said the dispute over the development at Taman Rimba Kiara will be tabled at Cabinet in April 2019 and a decision on the matter will be finalised. He also added that if the government scrap the project, Kuala Lumpur City Hall will have to pay up to RM150 million in compensation to the developer.  Khalid suggested that the project should proceed but at a reduced scale of 3.2 ha after taking into account concerns of the residents there. 

C4 Center Press Statement (22 January 2019) – Tengku Adnan Should Be Investigated For Dubious Land Deal Relating To Taman Rimba Kiara

22 January 2019 – C4 Center issued a press statement on 22 January 2019 to express their concern about dubious land deal relating to the Taman Rimba Kiara development. The residents of Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) have been protesting a high-rise development project for the past two years, even calling for the park to be gazette as a public space to prevent development from taking place. In the press release, C4 Center express concern on the alleged involvement of Tengku Adnan, during his time as Federal Territories Minister, Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan, and the developers of the project. Read the full press release here.

Joint committee to be formed to resolve Taman Rimba Kiara issue says FT Minister

24 November 2018 – Khalid Samad, Federal Territories Minister, said he will discuss with Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) and Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP) about the possibility of setting up a joint working committee with Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) residents. This idea was mooted by Hannah Yeoh, Segambut MP, during a recent town hall session on matters at Taman Tun Dr Ismail on 23 November 2019. Khalid also said at a press conference on 24 November, Khalid said the Taman Rimba Kiara situation is difficult as it is hard to come out with an amicable solution for all parties, which includes the government, residence of TTDI and the developers. 

TTDI residents appeal against Taman Rimba Kiara court verdict

17 December 2018 – The High Court decided on 28 November that the courts do not need to intervene with Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) planning permission and development order for a high-rise luxury apartment project in Taman Rimba Kiara and it was done legally. In response, Abdul Hafiz Abu Bakar, chairperson of the Taman Tun Dr Ismail Residents Association (TTDIRA) said they will appeal against the High Court decision. He said they are currently waiting for the court to fix a date for case management of the appeal. During the same press conference, he urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to speed up their investigation on probable impropriety in the project. The group said several reports have been submitted to the MACC to look on the possible conflict of interest with the developer and abuse of power by the former BN administration.

Hopes for Kiara park in despair

28 November 2018  – A Mr Saleh Mohammed from Taman Tun Dr Ismail wrote a letter to The Star chronicling the “broken promises” that the residence of TTDI have seen in their handling of the Taman Rimba Kiara development saga. He mapped the statements from Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan Chief Executive Officer on their discussion with all parties on their concerns and demands to cancel the project to the November decision on Putrajaya instructing the developer to scale down the project.

TTDI residents ask PM to stop Taman Rimba Kiara development

13 March 2019 – The development works at the Taman Rimba Kiara has started as observed by Taman Tun Dr Ismail residents. The spokesperson for the Save Taman Rimba Kiara Group said the residents were alert via social media and also eye-witness accounts by the group. They said saw trees at the upper portion of the part have been fell and moved to another area. To the group, this signifies the start of the development and destruction of the well-loved park. Abdul Hafiz Bakar, the chairperson of the TTDI Residents Association felt dismayed at this development despite large public objection to the project. He also added that the case management on a judicial review to affirm the legality of the Development Order issued by KL City Hall will happen on 18 April 2018. Residents at TTDI has protested the development that will include eight blocks of highrise luxury serviced apartments at the site and a 29 story residential block that has 350 flats for the soon to be displaced TTDI longhouse residents.

Bukit Nenas Forest Reserve (BNFR), dubious land deal

Why is the Bukit Nenas Heritage Zone & Forest Reserve shrinking?

We are concern that the only patch of secondary forest in Kuala Lumpur city center is being shrunk for the sake of development. We found evidence that brought up many questions that the Federal Territory Minister needs to answer.

Vanke commits to preserving Bukit Nanas

25 September 2019 – Vanke Holding (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd owns a 7-acre plot next to Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve and KL tower, which they bought from Malola Garden City at RM500 million in 2016. The China company initially proposed to develop that into a high-density mix-use property but they are still awaiting approval from the government as reports said the development works might affect the forest reserve. Lang Cong, the company executive director said to EdgeProp that the company is committed to working with the Malaysian government to preserve the forest reserve including using the company’s advanced technological expertise from China. 

C4: Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve area mysteriously smaller by nearly 1ha

4 April 2019 –  C4 Center has called for greater scrutiny and accountability on the recent news on the buyback of land near Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve. The anti-corruption calls for scrutiny of this suspicious land deal as similar deals occurred during the administration of Barisan Nasional and which might lead to corrupt deals. 

C4 Center Press Statement (22 January 2019) – Bukit Nanas Heritage Zone And Forest Reserve: The Shrinking Of The Kuala Lumpur’s Remaining Green Lung

4 April 2019 –  C4 Center issued a press statement on 4 April 2019 to express their concern on the recent statement made by the Federal Territories (FT) Minister, Khalid Abdul Samad, to buy back a piece of land in Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve (BNFR). C4 Center is extremely concerned with the recent developments surrounding the DBKL land acquisitions and/or sales to private developers, where a lack of clarity and opaque explanations from the current FT Minister, have left the current status of the land deals appearing suspicious. Read the full press release here.

DBKL to buy land and save forest reserve 

1 March 2019 –  Khalid Samad, the Federal Territories Minister, revealed to The Star on 1 March 2019, that the Kuala Lumpur City Hall will be buying a piece of land in Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve. He also said current 0.27 ha land is currently privately owned and plan to develop that piece of land. Khalid said the government has rejected the application for a Development Order on that property in order to preserve the nearby forest reserve and will buy over the land from the owner to do so. He was quoted to say the cost of the land is roughly RM100 million range and the government will go according to market value for it. 

China Vanke’s first project to be launched this year with an estimated RM5b GDV

11 January 2019 –  Lang Cong, Managing Director of Vanke Holding (Malaysia Sdn Bhd) said that it is eyeing the launch of its first mixed development venture in Malaysia in 2019 with an estimated GDV of RM 5 billion. The unnamed project will be built on the former Serani Row plot close to the Bukit Nanas heritage zone and forest reserve. Lang also added their first development will consist of retail and residential units during a media tour of the Vanke Experiential Hall show gallery at Menara IMC on 11 January 2019. He also added the overall project has an estimated GDV of RM5 billion, but the GDV might change in the future, depending on whether the authorities approve their plans.

 

 



Penang Transport Master Plan

MACC raids companies as probe into Penang tunnel project resumes

30 June 2020

The Penang undersea tunnel project is getting fresh corruption probes by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) after a former Penang Port Commission top official was detained. The 50-year-old man previously served in a senior position in a Penang statutory body. Over 100 witnesses were called during February 2018’s probe into the RM305 million feasibility study and detailed design commissioned by the Penang government through a land-swap deal.

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Penang will be given chance to implement PSR project, says Ahmad Masrizal 

27 June 2020

Deputy Environment and Water Minister Datuk Dr Ahmad Masrizal Muhammad  said the Ministry of Environment and Water will give the Penang state government a chance to implement the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project despite objections from several quarters. The Penang state government must comply with all the conditions and stipulations set out in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to proceed.

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Penang Transport Master Plan: Construction work on LRT, PIL, PSR to begin by 4Q 2020 — Chow

14 February 2020

The Penang Government expects the construction work on the light rail transit (LRT), Pan Island Link (PIL) and Penang South Reclamation (PSR) projects under the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) to begin by the fourth quarter of this year. The reclaimed land of Gurney Coast will be ready by April.

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Penang anti-reclamation coalition submits memorandum to Suhakam

17 January 2020

Penang Anti-Reclamation coalition submits memorandum to Suhakam to conduct a full investigation on Penang and Perak fisheries problem threatened by the South Penang Reclamation project and to ensure that local fishermen are not denied their rights to the fisheries resource area that has been their source of livelihood for generations.

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CAP says ‘no’ to new project delivery partner agreement with SRS Consortium

26 December 2019

The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) urged the Penang state government not to ink the new project delivery partner agreement with SRS Consortium for the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP). The PTMP is highly argumentative due to the negative effects it will have on the environment and socio economy. There are cheaper and more viable options besides continuing with the PTMP. 

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27 October 2019

Eric Cheah wrote an opinion piece on seven reasons why the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) is wrong. First, it is that the PTMP has deviated from the original Halcrow plan that was introduced to the Penang state in 2013. 

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Penang Island highway project to start on Oct 31

11 October 2019  – The second package highway construction in Penang connecting the Water Itam bypass at the Thean Teik Expressway with Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu will start on 31 October 2019. Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the project involving a 5.7km highway at the cost of RM 851 million will take 36 years to complete. He said that 70% of the project will be elevated. He said this at a press conference after a sub-agreement signing ceremony between the Penang state government and the project contractor Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd on 11 October 2019. 

Transportation expert to Penang: Don’t build islands

5 October 2019 –  Dr Rosli Azad Khan, managing director of MDS Consultancy Group, said the Penang needs a proper public transport system to ease the congestion on the island. He feels that the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) intentions were not to ease traffic congestion on the island and on the current needs of the people of Penang. Building three new island, he said, will not solve the problems of Penang and the government should follow the example of Singapore that controls ownership of cars on Island. He said this during a forum organised by The Penang Forum on 5 October called “Penang LRT – A Solution or Financial Distress”.

C4 tells Penang govt to be transparent on the reclamation project 

27 September 2019The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Center) has called on the Penang government to be more transparent in its dealings over the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project. This was said by Cynthia Gabriel, C4 Executive Director at a forum on “Penang Transport Master Plan and Penang South Reclamation projects” on 27 September 2017. In the same article, the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) had its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approved by the Environment Department by only two working days. It is concerning that a complex assessment such as the EIA was approved in only 2 days. 

Take time to properly review PTMP, civil societies tell Penang govt

27 September 2019:Transparency must be the key driver of the Pakatan Harapan government if they want to be different from the previous one. “Right now it is still a black hole. There is a lot of greyness and I think that really adds to the anxiety of the fishermen and some of the groups that work to support a sustainable environment and people’s rights. In the end, if there is corruption involved, it becomes devastating” – Cynthia Gabriel

‘Collateral Damage’ of Penang reclamation project – NGOs to reveal all

25 September 2019Khoo Salma Nasution said the upcoming Penang South Reclamation project would incur collateral damage that will impact existing neighbourhoods, public parks, land-slip prone forested hills and the fishing resources of Penang. She said this in preparation for a press briefing to be held on the 27 September 2019, where four NGOs will talk to the press on “the Penang Transport Master Plan and Penang South Reclamation Project. 

Penang mega reclamation project a divisive issue on the ground

27 July 2019 – Tho Xin Yi of CNA, a Singaporean news portal, wrote an article detailing the Penang South Reclamation project and its impact to the fishermen and the environment on Penang Island. 

PSR Puts Penang in Danger 

25 July 2019 Professor Emeritus Dr Hans-Dieter Evers of the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia said the island of Penang is in danger from disasters due to the impact of land reclamation works. He predicts that major flooding, landslides and collapsed buildings to happen within 20 to 40 years on the island due to climate change. He feels the state and their developer partners fails to put into consideration on the impact of rising water levels due to climate change in their plans. In addition to that, he feels that the state is only thinking about the short term financial gains and passes on the long-term negative impact of the project on future generations of Penangites. 

PSR: Penang Promises To Consider All Views

20 July 2019 – Chow Kon Yeow, Chief Minister of Penang said he is aware of the concerns on the numerous reclamation projects in the state and give assurance that these projects will use best practices used internationally. He also assures that mitigation measures on the impact of these projects will be in place when the projects are done. He reiterated the state has and will be forthcoming about the Penang South Reclamation project.

Journey to complete 3 Island Reclamation Project Will Be Tedious Says Penang CM

16 July 2019 –  Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the Penang South Reclamation project will be a “tedious” task, owing to the list of 72 conditions imposed by the Department of Environment (DoE) and other safeguards. Chow said part of the 72 conditions will be included in a “Penang Offset Master Plan”, believed to be the first of its kind, to reduce potential environmental impact as a result of the reclamation. The master plan will include measures to protect the coasts, sea and fisheries, with the placement of artificial reefs, planting of mangrove saplings, and funding for the study of turtles and coral reefs.

Chow: DoE has okayed Penang South Reclamation scheme

5 July 2019 – The Penang South Reclamation (PSR) scheme near Teluk Kumbar has been given the thumbs-up by the Environment Department (DoE), says Chow Kon Yeow. The Penang Chief Minister confirmed that the state government had received an approval letter via fax from the DoE on Thursday (July 4) over its application to implement the PSR.

Five reasons why the PTMP is a white elephant masterplan

21 April 2019 –  Roger Teoh, who is currently pursuing a PhD at the Centre for Transport Studies at Imperial College London in the United Kingdom wrote an opinion piece on why the Penang Transport Master Plan is a folly. He lists his reasons as follows:

  1. High population density projections – he cast doubt on the ambitious projection
  2. Cost of Pan Island Link 1 (PIL 1) – cast doubt on the high cost of the project compared to other projects in the country. 
  3. Artificially inflated benefits of Light Rapid Train – He feels the State is overstating the benefits of the LRTs on the island. 
  4. Traffic congestion is here to stay – One of the benefits purported for the PTMP is that is will reduce congestion on the island’s roads. He cast doubt over that assertion.
  5. 40 % of public transport modal share will be missed – In his expert opinion that getting the Penangites to use public transportation will miss the 40% goal. 

Khalid: NPPC Did Not Green Light Penang South Reclamation Project 

19 April 2019 – Khalid Abdul Samad, the Federal Territories Minister said on 19 April 2019, that the National Physical Planning Council (NPPC) has not approved for the Penang South Reclamation project to start. He said that the NPPC had stipulated that the state government of Penang consider 18 conditions, which includes approvals on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Social Impact Assessment (SIA) from relevant agencies. Khalid’s statement contradicts Chow Kon Yeow, Penang Chief Minister, who said on Thursday that the NPCC has approved the PSR project to start.  However, according to current government practice, the project has been approved.

NGOs Shocked Penang South Reclamation Project Given Green Light

18 April 2019 –  S.M. Mohamed Idris, president of The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) and Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) were baffled as to how the PSR could be approved when there were huge financial, social and environmental concerns over the project, including its effects on the livelihoods of local fishermen. Idris said many fundamental concerns had been raised by concerned citizens and NGOs and they did not know how these concerns had been addressed.

Penang South Reclamation Project Gets Putrajaya Greenlight 

18 April 2019 – Penang Chief Minister,Chow Kon Yeow, in a posting on his social media account on 18 April, announced that the proposed Penang South Reclamation  PSR project was considered and subsequently approved by National Physical Planning Council (NPPC) chaired by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad., as long as it adheres to 18 conditions set.

Examining Penang’s South Reclamation Scheme

19 December 2018 Timothy Thye, a spokesperson for AnakPinang, a Penang-based civil society group, wrote an article detailing the need for a rational discussion on the impact 

FORBES: What Could Happen If Malaysia Builds Three More Islands

25 May 2018 – Wade Shepard, a contributor for Forbes Magazine, wrote an expose on the Penang South Reclamation project, with in-depth background of the project, economic and environmental impact it will have for the people of Penang.  

Kim-kim River Chemical Pollution

Sg Kim Kim: DOE officers trained in respective fields, says witness

6 December 2019

A second witness, Azlan Ahmad told the court yesterday, that every officer in the Department of Environment (DOE) had been trained to be a subject matter expert in their respective fields.The DOE officers will be exposed to a variety of methods including classifying waste materials and not just focusing on inspections or enforcement on premises or factories.

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Judge visits used tyre processing factory in Sg Kim Kim case

4 December 2019

The Sessions Court judge in the Sg Kim Kim’s case, Wan Mohd Norisham Wan Yaakob, visited the site of the tyre processing factory in the Tg Langsat Industrial Area in Johor Baru with several interested parties in the case, including deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Muhammad Syafiq Mohd Ghazali, DPP for the Putrajaya Department of Environment (DOE) Nor Azura Jumuddin, and the first prosecution witness, Senior Control Officer for the DOE, Mohd Nazir Mansor, who is also the head of the Muar DOE branch. The trial continues tomorrow.

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Lynas Advanced Materials Plant

Lynas’ licence extended

28 February 2020

Lynas Corporation’s Malaysian operation has received a new three-year operating licence until early March 2023. Lynas has to satisfy the conditions of the license such as the development of the permanent disposal facility (PDF) within the first year, submit work development plan for PDF and report status as determined by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB). After July 2023, Lynas would no longer be allowed to import raw materials containing naturally-occurring radioactive material into Malaysia. It costs RM210 million in cash to renew the operating license from AELB. Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas chairman Tan Bun Teet questioned whether all conditions and procedures had been fulfilled before the issuance of the licence by AELB and that AELB must have solid grounds for renewing the operating licence and not base it on Lynas’ submission of documents and its claims of expert studies.

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Lynas: We will sue detractors for ‘false statements’ over Bukit Ketam facility

6 February 2020 

Lynas slammed complaints made by Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh that the choice of Bukit Ketam could compromise the drinking water processing plant in Semambu for 600,000 Kuantan residents. Lynas clarified that the site is not in a water catchment area and external experts showed that the PDF can be constructed whereby there is no way for the wastes to reach the water supply. Lynas reiterated that the Pahang government has approved the Bukit Ketam site for the PDF residue.

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Pahang govt refutes claim that Bukit Ketam is final site for Lynas permanent disposal facility

3 February 2020

The Pahang state government has repudiated that Bukit Ketam has been chosen as the site for Lynas Corporation’s permanent disposal facility (PDF) to process water leach purification (WLP) residue. Gading Senggara Sdn Bhd (GSSB) has been appointed as the contractor to manage the entire PDF project for an estimated total amount of US$98 million (RM400.7 million).

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Lynas waste site: Need for transparency, public consultations before green light

3 February 2020

The Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) is expected to decide on Lynas Corporations’s permanent disposal facility (PDF) for water leach purification residue (WLP) which contains radioactive wastes. It was alarming according to Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) since the Lynas has announced that the Pahang state has approved the PDF site in Bukit Ketam. SAM has called for clarification and public consultations to be made while reminding us that the PDF must have the consent from AELB as well as the Department of Environment (DOE), completed with a Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) under the Environmental Quality Act 1974 and the Radiological Impact Assessment (RIA) under the Atomic Energy Licensing Act 1984.

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Lynas meets its commitment to Malaysia 

21 January 2020

Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd, an Australian rare earth processing company’s safety performance improved with no public health or environmental incidents in its seven years of operation. Lynas Malaysia is committed to the safety of the people, communities and the environment. The Pakatan Harapan government’s 2018 Executive Review Committee found Lynas complies with relevant regulations and adopts international best practice.

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Kuantan residents get nod for judicial review of Lynas licence extension by Cabinet

8 January 2020

The High Court in Kuala Lumpur granted leave for judicial review as the Malaysian government represented by the Attorney-General’s Chambers’ Liew Horng Bing did not object for the lawsuit to be heard in court. On November 8, 2019, three Kuantan residents — Tan Bun Teet, Ismail Abu Bakar, G. Ponusamy — as representatives of anti-Lynas groups Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas (SMSL) and Pertubuhan Solidariti Hijau Kuantan (PSHK) filed their application for leave for judicial review. The name of 31 respondents, including Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (Mestecc) Yeo Bee Yin, the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) and Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd are listed in the application.

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Landfill near Kuantan as proposed as Lynas’ radioactive residue storage site

19 November 2019

The Australian miner, Lynas proposed three dumpsites as their permanent deposit facility (PDF) for rare earth processing plant to house its radioactive residue at Jabur Jerangau Landfill, 30 minutes drive from Kuantan said Abdul Rahim Muda, chairperson of the Pahang Local Government and Housing Committee. He told Lee Chean Chung (Harapan-Semambu) that the “proposal is subjected to the guidelines, conditions and approval from the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) and the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change”. The cabinet has given Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd a six-month licence extension subject to conditions, effective from Sept 3 and have six months to identify a suitable site to construct its PDF backed by state government’s written permission.

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Lynas applies to process more rare-earth material in Kuantan

22 October 2019 – According to a quarterly report by Lynas Corp dated 30 September 2019, the Gebeng rare earth plan was operating at a reduced capacity. This is because the Malaysian government has yet to approve the plant’s application to increase the lanthanide (metallic elements with atomic numbers 57 – 71) concentrate processing limits in 2019. This delay in approval has led to the Australian company in expressing their frustration as they feel they have done everything that is expected from a foreign investor and applying standards higher than used in other industries.  

No word from Lynas on the location of permanent disposal facility says Pahang MB

19 August 2019Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail, the Menteri Besar of Pahang said the state government has never discussed with Lynas on the location of the Permanent Disposal Facility (PDF) in the state of Pahang. No formal application has been made on the location of the PDFs. He said this in reply to a question parliament. In this article, he specified that the discussion with Lynas has been centred around the investments that the company will have in the state.

Australia’s man in Malaysia says Lynas Call was a big test.

19 August 2019 – Australia’s high commissioner to Malaysia says Mahathir Mohamad-led nation has passed a big test in the eyes of international investors by granting Lynas Corporation a conditional six-month extension on its operating licence despite protests against the rare earth producer. High commissioner Andrew Goledzinowski said the Malaysia government, led by 94-year-old Dr Mahathir, had improved its standing with the global investment community by basing the Lynas decision on science, not the politics surrounding the company’s storage of low-level radioactive waste.

At the anti-Lynas rally, calls for Pakatan MPs to quit but no burning of the manifesto.

18 August 2019The anti-Lynas rally today saw 400 protesters demanding for Pakatan Harapan (PH) MPs’ resignations but decided against burning the PH manifesto as planned. Malaysiakini reported that Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL) leader Tan Bun Teet told the press that it decided against this following comments by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Government “Very Cautious” in approving a license for Lynas

18 August 2019Prof. Mazlin Mokhtar, the chairperson of the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) Operations Evaluation Executive Committee said that the government has taken very cautious steps and given strict conditions on Lynas. These important steps are the factors that the government will take into consideration when deliberating to renew the license.

Govt renews Lynas’ licence for six months, but effectively gives it four more years

16 August 2019 – The Pakatan Harapan government has been receiving a lot of backlash from their decision to give Lynas Corp a six months license to operate in Gebeng, Pahang. Voices of criticism came from Faziah Salleh, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and Kuantan MP to people from civil society organisations. 

Faziah, whose political platform was built on her activism against the construction of the rare earth  plant said in a statement; 

“The new condition means the public will bear the risk of exposure to effects from radioactive water leach purification (WLP) waste produced in Gebeng for another four years. And Malaysia has to accept the toxic waste from Lynas,”

Hon Kai Pin, the legal adviser for “Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas!” pressure group reiterates Faziah’s disappointment by saying; 

“Lynas has already generated close to 600,000 tonnes of thorium waste to date. Lynas has essentially been given a free-hand to continue to generate even more toxic radioactive waste in Malaysia to pollute and contaminate our environment,” 

Lynas’ licence renewed for another six months 

15 August 2019 – In a statement released by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) on 15 August 2019, the government has agreed to renew Lynas Corp operating license for six months with certain conditions to be met with regards to the processing of waste from their plant. Lynas will have to move its cracking and leaching process, which is currently conducted in its plant in Kuantan, out of the country. It was also stipulated that Lynas will have to end all research and development activities related to the use of the radioactive WLP residue as Condisoil in the field of agriculture. The company also has to contribute 0.5% of its annual gross profit, which was allocated for research and development activities, to the Malaysian government until the “cracking and leaching” facility overseas starts operating.

Msia asks Lynas for waste plan before licence renewal

1 August 2019 –  The controversial rare earth plant in Kuantan, Pahang operated by Lynas Corp is due to have its operating licence renewed on 2 September 2019. The Malaysian government is waiting for the Australian company to send their plans to manage low levels of radioactive waste at the plant. This was revealed by Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad on 1 August 2019. 

Taking a Risk for Rare Earths

8 March 2011 – This New York Times article was attributed for highlighting the issue of the Lynas plant in Kuantan in 2011.

Papar Dam, Sabah

Sabah groups call for study on impact of Papar dam

22 February 2020

Two Sabah anti-dam groups have called for the establishment of an independent commission to study the impact of the Papar Dam. Task Force Against Kaiduan Dam (Takad) and the Save Papar River Committee called for an independent commission to study the impact of the Papar Dam as the Sabah government is insisting on carrying out the project. State Infrastructure Development Minister Peter Anthony said that the project will proceed as planned.

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06 September 2019

Community members from Ulu Papar, Sabah traveled across the South China Sea to Kuala Lumpur to mobilise Malayans to stop the construction of the proposed Papar Dam in Sabah. The nine Sabahan delegation are part of the Task Force Against Kaiduan Dam, who believes that the new dam is actually a rehashed Kaiduan Dam that was proposed by the deposed Barisan National government and had been strongly opposed by Pakatan Harapan before GE14. The new dam will submerge 12 villages and displace around 3000 people who live in the vicinity. 

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Cost-benefit analysis necessary for Papar Dam, says geologist

2 August 2019 –Prof Dr Felix Tongkul told The Star newspaper that the Sabah government needs to do a thorough cost-benefit analysis of the Papar Dam and other alternatives. He presented a 76 page presentation to Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Abpdal on 19 July 2019 on the possible environmental and social impact that the Papar Dam. He said the dam will destroy established villages like Kampung Timpayasa, Kampung Babagon Laut, Kampung Terian, Kampung Tiku and Kampung Buayan.

New ‘final’ site for Papar dam

27 June 2019 – The site for a RM 3 billion hydro-electric dam has been identified by the Sabah state government. The new 100 kilovolt-ampere (KVA) hydro dam will be built on a site near Kampung Mandoringin in Ulu Papar. This was announced by Peter Anthony, State Infrastructure Development Minister, when he was visiting the construction site on 27 June 2019.  The construction cost of the dam will be covered through a soft loan from the Federal Government and he reiterated that the current residence will be given the necessary assistance such as new settlements and cash incentives.

Construction of RM2 billion Papar dam to begin next year

24 March 2019 – Construction of a dam in Papar will start in 2020 at a cost of RM 2 billion,  announced Peter Anthony, the Sabah Infrastructure Development Minister on 24 March 2019. The construction of the damn would help to meet the increasing demand for water by residence and industries in the Papar and Kota Kinabalu area. The minister said that they are still waiting for reports from the Department of Environment and other agencies before announcing the area and rivers that will be dam up.

Haze

Awang Tengah: More enforcement, monitoring stations to address haze issue

19 November 2019
The new Lundu station, approved last year, is now in operation since a month ago. The effort was made to address the issues in protecting the environment and putting up air quality monitoring stations at the border. Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said that the new station was timely in view of the haze that had been affecting the state annually. The state has a total of four such stations in Lawas, Lubok Antu and Tebedu, which have been upgraded and also operational last month.

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23 September 2019

Malaysia has adopted several key policies to ensure sustainable oil palm cultivation, including capping the total of oil palm cultivated area to 6.5 million hectares, said Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok. The policies also included stopping the planting of oil palm in peatland areas and strengthening regulations concerning existing oil palm cultivation on peatland, she said. “We also banned the conversion of forest reserved areas for oil palm cultivation and also pledged to make the oil palm plantation maps available for public access,” she said at the 39th Palm Oil Familiarisation Programme (POFP), here today.  

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Haze: IOI, Sime Darby among M’sian firms blamed for Indonesia forest fires

13 September 2019 –  Malaysia is currently being blanketed by haze and poor air quality. The Indonesian government has identified four palm oil companies with Malaysian links which they suspect are the culprits of forest fires in Indonesia. The four companies are:

  1. Sukses Karya Sawit (a unit of IOI Corporation)
  2. Sime Indo Argo (a unit of Sime Darby Plantations)
  3. Rafi Kamajaya Abadi (a unit of TDM Berhad, which is owned by the state of Terengganu)
  4. Adei Plantations and Industry ( a unit of Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad)

 When contacted, Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin told Reuters that Indonesia should take action against any parties which had caused the fires.

Unfair to blame oil palm industry for haze, says Kok

20 September 2019 – It is unfair to blame the oil palm industry whenever the haze occurs, especially at the large plantations, says Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok. Speaking to reporters after opening the 39th Palm Oil Familiarisation Programme (POFP) hosted by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) in Putrajaya today, Kok said the forest fires that caused the current haze in the country was due to the El Nino season.

C4 – Teresa Kok’s deflection of the responsibility of the Palm Industry for the annual haze crisis that Malaysia is tone-deaf and brings to question to the effectiveness of her Ministry of Primary Industries in regulating Palm Oil corporations and players. El Nino is a regular occurrence that happens during the months of September and November each year. To plan land clearing and the methods around this yearly weather event is within the reach and ability of the industry.  Her comments and actions suggest that the current administration is failing to adhere to Promise 39 of the PH manifesto to balance economic growth with environmental protection.

Kok: Four oil palm plantation firms ready to answer accusations

13 September 2019 – The Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok expressed concern and surprised the four Malaysian companies identified by the Indonesian government for forest burning as established and respected palm oil cultivators that have adopted sustainability pledges. 

Plastic and E-Waste Dumping in Malaysia

Malaysia top plastic ocean polluter in Asia, says WWF

17 February 2020

WWF report on plastic compared countries in Asia and found that Malaysia is the biggest individual consumers of plastic packaging. Asia has fast-growing economies and populations, and enormous coastlines but garbage collection services and infrastructure are incompetent in keeping pace with rapid development.

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Reveal details of legal recycle operators in the state, Penang told

13 February 2020

Penang Forum, a coalition of several NGOs, asked for a smart website from the Penang state to show the public the details of legal recycling operators, their locations and permit data. Civil society groups have called on the Penang government to publicly reveal the list of legal operators of recycling products in the state to address the issue of illegal plastic wastes. The spokesperson of Penang Forum, Khoo Salma Nasution said: “That way, the people can immediately check if the recycle operator in their neighbourhood is a legal one or not.”

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Illegal Penang plastic recycling plant caught red handed

12 February 2020

The Department of Environment (DoE) said that a hill in the south of Penang next to Relau had been used as an open burning site for waste. Residents in the area as well as Sungai Ara area, complaints have been filed to the Penang executive councillor Phee Boon Poh on the smell of burning plastic. The official of the company and the owner failed to show evidence of operating the factory with a City Council permit. The case has been forwarded to the council authorities. 

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Greenpeace accuses Italy of turning blind eye on hazardous waste export to Malaysia

11 February 2020 

Greenpeace Italy has slammed the Italian government for doing nothing despite knowingly importing harmful plastic waste to Malaysia. The containers should be checked thoroughly according to Greenpeace as they leave the Italian cities. The illegal waste kept in Malaysia has polluted the environment and the water in the country. Greenpeace has submitted its findings to Italian prosecutors.

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Residents cry foul over burning plastic waste in Penang

11 February 2020

In the hills of rustic Relau, in southern Penang Island, a site collecting waste has been operating in plain sight, with a makeshift sorting facility and all the marks of an active recycling centre. The residents of Relau and Sungai Area said they had seen plumes of smoke apparently from large “bonfires” at a site where acrid stench of electrical wiring filled the air. The said site is shrouded by raintrees, the visible smoke from the site unveils large open burning activities. The site is hidden from sight by large raintrees, but the open burning is a giveaway, and clearly visible from tall apartments that dot the fringes of the hill.

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Italy told to stop using Malaysia as plastics dumping ground

10 February 2020

Since China, the former biggest international plastic waste importer imposed a ban on the waste imports, Malaysia has been the target for the import instead. Germany tops the demand for plastic in the EU, followed by Italy. EU law specified that members can export plastic waste to non-EU countries only if the waste is recyclable and the companies chosen must follow the environmental and technical standards requirement in European treatment facilities. However, the lenient restrictions at the ports have resulted in massive exports of toxic and hard-to-recycle plastic into illegal factories. Greenpeace Italy urges the Italian government to take action against such illegal activities and emphasized that it cannot be ignored by the government. According to the amendment to the Basel convention of the United Nations last May, the shipments of unrecyclable plastic to poorer countries is restricted. From January next year, exporters will have to get export approval from the government of the receiving countries.

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228 plastic waste recycling plants shut, suspended since July 2018 – Mestecc

6 February 2020

228 plastic waste recycling plants, both legal and illegal are given a RM2.323 million in total and is ordered to be shut down as the factories have committed offences under the Environmental Quality Act 1974. Energy, Science, Technology, Climate Change and Environment (Mestecc) deputy minister Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis said the Department of Environment has inspected 405 factories nationwide since 2018 and 182 factories were found to be operating illegally. Some of the monitoring methods include the usage of drones and closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) and plastic waste processing machines.

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Waste remains near Kedah water source for 3 million people despite clean-up pledge

5 February 2020

Six months ago, a dumpsite on the banks of Sungai Muda was highlighted and authorities promised to clear the waste up. The pile of garbage at the site in Kg Kemumbung, Sidam Kiri is gone but there is plastic waste covering the whole site. Caretakers of the land said that the land is being investigated and no one should be around. One of them said the authorities asked them to bury the rubbish. The authorities had earlier warned that dumping the wastes there would let dangerous particles seep and contaminate the river, Sungai Muda which supplies water to hundreds of padi fields. Two dumpsites near the river share the same attributes of defunct sand mining pools turned into illegal waste sites. 

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Sungai Muda, Kedah’s source of water, under threat of pollution from e-waste dump 

3 February 2020 

Kampung Belida’s three-acre mining pool near Kuala Ketil is now filled with rubbish instead of angler fish. Villagers living close by around Sungai Muda, are worried as the e-waste metal can seep into the riverbed. Sungai Muda is the main source of water for Kedah and  Penang, and supplies water to over 50000 padi farmers. At the banks of the same river, a six-acre site near Sidam Kiri, Padang Serai, has been filled with plastic waste from all over the world. Checks at the Kampung Belida dumping ground showed similarities with other illegal dumps in Sungai Petani. There were plastic pellets and municipal waste from Canada, France and other developed countries.

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Back to back plastic waste fires

22 January 2020

The below ground burning of plastic waste in Sungai Petani had caused major challenges for the firemen. The Bedong landfill does not have fire hydrants, ponds or rivers nearby. Firemen had to drive further away to get the fire engines’ water tanks filled. Half an hour is needed to refill the tanks. At the same time, another factory site where scraps are stashed caught on fire as well. The firemen has to rush to the other site.

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150 containers of plastic waste shipped back

21 January 2020

150 illegal plastic waste containers were sent back to France, the UK, the US seized at Klang, Penang and Sarawak ports. Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said Malaysia will not tolerate actions that would turn the country into the world’s garbage site. 110 more containers are expected to be shipped back within the next six months.

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France takes back 43 illegal waste containers from Malaysia

20 January 2020 

In a joint statement by the Malaysia and France, 43 illegal plastic waste containers were shipped back to France as part of a crackdown on illegal trafficking of waste. The company responsible for the shipment of illegal waste has been fined €192,000 euros (RM864,000). Malaysia has returned 150 plastic waste containers to their countries of origin in the past eight months, including to the United States, Britain, Japan and Canada.

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Ministry committed to addressing environment, climate issues: Yeo

30 December 2019

Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (Mestecc) ensured the public that the ministry is committed to develop strategies to deal with environmental and climate change issues. So far, initiatives such as the shipping back of plastic waste to their countries of origin, recognising the necessity for stricter controls on imports of plastic waste and manage open burning and haze issues are taken up by the ministry.

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UK agrees to take back 42 containers of illegally imported plastic waste from Malaysia

25 November 2019

In compliance with the Basel Convention, the United Kingdom will repatriate 42 containers of illegal shipments of plastic waste from Malaysia which arrived at Penang Port from March 2018 to March 2019. These illegal shipments failed to adhere to specific documentations. by the UK’s Environment Agency (EA) in response to news of the illegal shipment of plastic waste from the UK. The waste are usually of low-quality and cannot be recyclable.

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Circular economy roadmap for policy on plastics to be launched by 2020

18 November 2019

A circular economy roadmap (CER) for plastics will be introduced by 2020, as part of the 2018-2030 roadmap towards zero single-use plastics. The Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change takes the lead and it seeks to give all stakeholders a unified strategy to address single-use plastics in Malaysia. The International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Dr Ong Kian Ming said Malaysia is preparing to make strides towards sustainability and is developing a CER for plastics including bottles. According to Dr Ong, “the potential for the circular economy and recycling is huge… While the government needs to provide incentives and support ‘replacement’… the private sector’s role is also necessary to introduce innovative solutions”. Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association VP CC Cheah said plastic recycling industry had already yielded RM4.5 billion to the country’s economy and expected “to increase to between RM15 billion and RM20 billion annually if there is more investment in technology, infrastructure and upgraded capacity”.

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Non-conforming plastic waste to be sent back – ministry

14 November 2019

The Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) said that in order to control the illegal import of millions of tonnes of plastic waste from elsewhere to the country, only clean and homogeneous imported plastic waste is allowed to be shipped to Malaysia and among those approved were plastic waste originating from Japan, the United States, Europe and West Asia. These countries supply high quality and clean plastic waste such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) lumps and polyethylene (PE) films. Also to be returned are containers without plastic waste import licence. KPKT also imposes stricter requirements according to HS Code & tariff codes 39.15 for plastic waste import. Integrated operations are conducted to tighten controls at the federal port entrance by various government agencies and review issues related to legislation, regulation, enforcement and control from time to time through the Imported Plastic Scrap Management Master Committee chaired by the KPKT secretary-general and the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change secretary-general.

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5 facts about the waste dumping crisis in Malaysia that you probably didn’t know

16 June 2019 – This is an article by the Malaysian legal portal, AskLegal, that details 5 facts that will be helpful about plastic dumping crisis in Malaysia. The article attributes the dumping to illegal waste operators who have used misleading information to import such waste.

Yeo: Plastics dumped here to be shipped back today.

28 May 2019 – Yeo Bee Yin, the Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change, said in an interview with the NST that more than 400 tonnes of plastic waste from Port Klang will be shipped back to their countries of origins. To her, this is about Malaysia upholding its dignity and protecting the environment. To address this problem, the ministry has imposed a ban on the importation of HS Code 3915 plastics, which involves plastic waste, scraps and pairings, since July 2018. 

Plastic pollution: One town smothered by 17,000 tonnes of rubbish

13 February 2019 – The BBC reported that 17,000 tonnes of plastic waste are imported in from all around the world (especially from developed nation) to the small town of Jenjarom, Selangor on 13 February 2019. The problem started in 2017, when China, the biggest importer for recyclable waste from the west, decided to ban their import. From that point onwards, recyclable waste from around starting turning up in countries like the Philippines and Malaysia. Semi-rural towns like Jenjarom saw a huge influx of waste that feeds into the recycling factories which emit noxious fumes which started affecting the health of the residence. Thirty-three of these factories were shut down the government as they were established illegally. However, 17,000 tonnes of waste that are emblazoned with logos from the developed world. The BBC also approached Yeo Bee Yin, the Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change about this matter. She said no one wants to handle the waste as it is contaminated and efforts to send the rubbish to be used as a fuel in a cement plant has failed due at a cost of RM 2.5 million to just send it to the plant. 

Related News

12 October 2019

In Lim Guan Eng’s 2020 budget presentation on 11 October 2019, RM30 million was allocated to the Department of Environment and the Chemistry Department to resolve the nearly yearly haze crisis. In addition to that, the government has additional money to mitigate floods, protection of endangered animals, biodiversity and environmental sustainability programs.  

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Back to back plastic waste fires

22 January 2020

The below ground burning of plastic waste in Sungai Petani had caused major challenges for the firemen. The Bedong landfill does not have fire hydrants, ponds or rivers nearby. Firemen had to drive further away to get the fire engines’ water tanks filled. Half an hour is needed to refill the tanks. At the same time, another factory site where scraps are stashed caught on fire as well. The firemen has to rush to the other site.

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150 containers of plastic waste shipped back

21 January 2020

150 illegal plastic waste containers were sent back to France, the UK, the US seized at Klang, Penang and Sarawak ports. Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said Malaysia will not tolerate actions that would turn the country into the world’s garbage site. 110 more containers are expected to be shipped back within the next six months.

Click to see more

France takes back 43 illegal waste containers from Malaysia

20 January 2020 

In a joint statement by the Malaysia and France, 43 illegal plastic waste containers were shipped back to France as part of a crackdown on illegal trafficking of waste. The company responsible for the shipment of illegal waste has been fined €192,000 euros (RM864,000). Malaysia has returned 150 plastic waste containers to their countries of origin in the past eight months, including to the United States, Britain, Japan and Canada.

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Activist slams Penang govt over hill clearing

1 October 2019 – Two stop-work order was issued to a landowner who has been clearing a hill in Teluk Bahang. Multiple complaints have been made against the landowner to the Penang Island City Council (MBPP). The belligerent landowner continued with their quarrying activities. Residents and Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) are puzzled on why the MBPP is slow to act on the landowner.  

MACC turns attention to environment-related corruption

27 September 2019 Latheefa Koya, MACC Cheif commissioner announced that they have a former Customs Department director as part of the agency crack down on illegal logging, illegal mining and smuggling. This arrest was in line with the new MACC strategy to focus on corruption cases linked with environmental issues. 

C4 tells Penang govt to be transparent on reclamation project

27 September 2019: “Transparency needs to be the key driver of the Pakatan government”. C4 Center, the corruption watchdog has called on the Penang government to be transparent in its dealings over the billion ringgit Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project. 

Take time to properly review PTMP, civil societies tell Penang govt

27 September 2019:Transparency must be the key driver of the Pakatan Harapan government if they want to be different from the previous one. “Right now it is still a black hole. There is a lot of greyness and I think that really adds to the anxiety of the fishermen and some of the groups that work to support a sustainable environment and people’s right. In the end, if there is corruption involved, it becomes devastating” – Cynthia Gabriel

Malaysia adopts policies to ensure sustainable oil palm cultivation

23 September 2019 Malaysia has adopted several key policies to ensure sustainable oil palm cultivation, including capping the total of oil palm cultivated area to 6.5 million hectares, said Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok. The policies also included stopping the planting of oil palm in peatland areas and strengthening regulations concerning existing oil palm cultivation on peatland, she said. “We also banned the conversion of forest reserved areas for oil palm cultivation and also pledged to make the oil palm plantation maps available for public access,” she said at the 39th Palm Oil Familiarisation Programme (POFP), here today.

C4 – Teresa Kok, the Minister for Primary Industries made a statement that her ministry has initiatives that can improve the sustainability and lower the environmental impact of the Palm Oil Industry in Malaysia. This statement was made in conjunction with an event with industry players to promote Palm Oil. On paper, these initiatives look like positive steps have been made in balancing economic growth and environmental protection as stated in Promise 39 of the PH manifesto. It is too soon to see the impact of the initiative and judgement will be reserved for now. However, her inability to articulate and express concerns that the public has on the industry questions her loyalties as minister; it for industry players or is for the public.

Haze: IOI, Sime Darby among M’sian firms blamed for Indonesia forest fires

13 September 2019 –  Malaysia is currently being blanketed by haze and poor air quality. The Indonesian government has identified four palm oil companies with Malaysian links which they suspect are the culprits of forest fires in Indonesia. This companies identified are IO Corporation and Sime Darby Plantations.  When contacted, Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin told Reuters that Indonesia should take action against any parties which had caused the fires. 

Unfair to blame oil palm industry for haze, says Kok

20 September 2019 – It is unfair to blame the oil palm industry whenever the haze occurs, especially at the large plantations, says Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok. Speaking to reporters after opening the 39th Palm Oil Familiarisation Programme (POFP) hosted by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) in Putrajaya today, Kok said the forest fires that caused the current haze in the country was due to the El Nino season.

C4 – Teresa Kok’s deflection of the responsibility of the Palm Industry for the annual haze crisis that Malaysia is tone-deaf and brings to question to the effectiveness of her Ministry of Primary Industries in regulating Palm Oil corporations and players. El Nino is a regular occurrence that happens during the months of September and November each year. To plan land clearing and the methods around this yearly weather event is within the reach and ability of the industry.  Her comments and actions suggest that the current administration is failing to adhere to Promise 39 of the PH manifesto to balance economic growth with environmental protection.

Kok: Four oil palm plantation firms ready to answer accusations

13 September 2019 – The Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok expressed concern and surprised the four Malaysian companies identified by the Indonesian government for forest burning as established and respected palm oil cultivators that have adopted sustainability pledges.

Review regularly the environmental policies and regulations and benchmarked against International Best Practices

24 September 2019

The Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry (MESTECC) will be preparing a cabinet paper on the need to create a Transboundary Pollution Act in three months. This bill will be called the “Cross-Border Pollution Act” and will apply to Malaysian companies and individuals and hold them overseas polluters accountable. 

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27 August 2019 A joint conference between the federal and Johor state governments needs to be conducted to address environmental issues and to pave the way for a blueprint to ensure environmental quality in the state.

C4 – A “climate emergency” needs to be called as the government’s and population’s lackadaisical attitude towards the environment by the government and the general public will hurt us and the future generation. The past months Malaysia have been plagued with dangerous environmental disasters from landslides, worsening air quality, the dumping of western plastic waste to the tragic pollution cases in Johor that has affected school children. The time for thinking is over. Now is the time for action.

8 July 2019 – Putrajaya has no intention of amending the Federal Constitution to curb deforestation, says Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Xavier Jayakumar. As Xavier explained, it was agreed during the formation of Malaysia that land falls under the jurisdiction of state governments. 

As per Mid-term review of the 11th Malaysia Plan (2016 – 2020):

Strengthening Policy, Legislation and Institutional Framework

Improving Capacity and Capability, Intensifying enforcement and compliance and Improving environment-related data for reporting, monitoring and evaluation

Sustainable Infrastructure Rating Tool

4 May 2019 With the Sungai Kim Kim toxic pollution and plastic waste crises grabbing headlines, it’s easy to miss what else the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry (Mestecc) has been doing. Minister Yeo Bee Yin, who helms the vast ministry, has been implementing 80 initiatives across its many agencies since assuming the post on July 2 last year.

12 December 2018 – Malaysia participated in UN Climate Conference to hammer out a work programme to implement Paris Agreement commitment to limit the rise in global average surface temperature to less than 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century.

16 October 2018 – Government to finalise details of banning the import of non-recyclable plastic waste by year-end

All development projects must comply with international environmental protection standards

12 July 2019

The operating permit of a factory carrying out metal and e-waste recycling activities in Industrial Area 2, near Segamat, was suspended immediately today after it was found to have caused air pollution. 

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19 October 2018 – Government identified initiatives to increase sustainable development including:

  • Formulating an Environmental Protection Act
  • Cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 45% relative to level in 2005
  • Installing 8,885 MW of renewable energy
  • Targeting 30% recycling rate for household waste
  • Developing an integrated weather and flood forecasting system

Review approved or ongoing controversial projects to ensure compliance with established standards

27 September 2019 

The Penang Tolak Tambak coalition would brief the media on the “Opacity, Overreach and Collateral Damage” of the state’s megaprojects – Penang South Reclamation (PSR) and the RM46 billion transport master plan (PTMP).

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C4 – Transparency and accountability needs to be incorporated at all steps in any development projects and not only stop at the early tendering stages. Based on the statement by the “Penang Tolak Tambak” coalition, the public consultative process for the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project was mired with missed opportunities and opaqueness. This has lead to a massive erosion of public trust. The lack of information and close consultation with the people by the developer and state government has left a bitter taste as it left an impression that the state is only concerned about the economic benefits of the project. The Penang Tolak Tambak coalition and the Penang Fishermen Association will organise a strike on 4 November to highlight the importance of the fishing industry in the state and the plight of the people affected by the PSR. They have resorted to this as they feel that their voices are being drowned out by cash-rich developers and politically connected group. Promise 30 of the PH manifesto promised to balance economic growth with environmental protection; it seems they are ignoring this promise for cold hard cash. Granted, that with more development will lead to increase prosperity, but what is the point of that if there are no longer fish and seafood products in the supermarket to buy. 

27 September 2019 “Right now it is still a black hole. There is a lot of greyness, and I think that really adds to the anxiety of the fishermen and some of the groups that work to support sustainable environment and people’s right. In the end, if there is corruption involved, it becomes devastating”  – Cynthia Gabriel (Executive Director for C4 Center)

C4 – The megaprojects in Penang like the Penang Transport Master Plan and Penang South Reclamation need to have accountability and transparency built-in. The Penang State government, which is led by the Democratic Action Party (a key party in the Pakatan Harapan coalition), commissioned these projects via proposal instead of open tender. This suspicious process calls into question the sincerity of the administration towards the procurement process and to the people of Penang. Pakatan Haparan needs to put transparency as a critical driver in the administration to clean out the rot that is blemishing the reputation of our country. All aspects of these projects need to have processes that allow for public scrutiny as their impact or damage the environment and Penangnites might be irreversible. Where are the promises that were made last year when Lim Guan Eng, DAP leader, when campaigning for our vote? Are were handing over the reign of our country for one crook to another?

29 August 2019 – The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report for Lynas to build a landfill to store its neutralisation underflow (NUF) residue has been approved by the Department of Environment (DOE) with 68 conditions. In an email to Malaysiakini, the DOE said these conditions include limiting the NUF secure landfill to a height of 30m from ground level, excluding its “capping”, which is approximately the height of a nine-storey building.

C4 – Lynas received approval by the Department of Environment (DOE) to build a landfill for waste from their plant. Their proposal was approved with 68 conditions to mitigate concerns by the DOE. On paper, this move by the PH government seems to be adhering to Promise 39 of their manifesto where they are reviewing approved or ongoing controversial projects to ensure compliance with established standards. However, the spirit of the manifesto has tarnished as several PH members of parliament were elected on an Anti-Lynas platform.  A promise is a promise, and more needs to be done to explain and action to be seen resolve this issue before it turns to a festering pile of resentment.

23 August 2019A special audit on the sale of land owned by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) will be conducted with the assistance of the National Audit Department, said Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad.

19 August 2019The rare earth processing company Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd (Lynas) has yet to submit a formal application on the specific location of the Permanent Disposal Facility for its Water Leached Purification (WLP) residue in the state.

19 August 2019 – Australia’s high commissioner to Malaysia says the Mahathir Mohamad-led nation has passed a big test in the eyes of international investors by granting Lynas Corporation a conditional six-month extension on its operating licence despite protests against the rare earths producer. High commissioner Andrew Goledzinowski said the Malaysia government, led by 94-year-old Dr Mahathir, had improved its standing with the global investment community by basing the Lynas decision on science, not the politics surrounding the company’s storage of low-level radioactive waste.

18 August 2019 – The anti-Lynas rally today saw 400 protesters demanding for Pakatan Harapan (PH) MPs’ resignations but decided against burning the PH manifesto as planned. Malaysiakini reported that Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL) leader Tan Bun Teet told the press that it decided against this following comments by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

18 August 2019The government is seen as being very cautious and takes into account numerous factors before making a decision to renew the operating licence of the rare earth processing factory, Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd, di Gebeng, Kuantan, for six months.

2 May 2019The Energy, Science, Technology, Climate Change and Environment Ministry (MESTECC) has appointed a new director for the Johor Department of Environment (DoE) to strengthen the department’s machinery to address river pollution in the state.

26 March 2019 – The state Environment Protection Department have given green light to the proposed Papar Dam although the necessary environmental impact assessment reports had yet to be completed.

Sabah Environmental Protection Association called for a strategic environmental assessment on managing water for the whole state, which should be done prior to thee EIA. 

26 September 2018 – The government has charted a zero-waste plan to abolish single-use plastic by 2030 

 

Streamline and implement regulations to protect marine life, wildlife and nature, and take punitive action against poachers and illegal loggers

Minister to take on wildlife laws

11 February 2020

Malaysia Water, Land, and Natural Resources Minister Xavier Jayakumar announced that Malaysia will be hosting the third Asean Conference on Biodiversity. Malaysia is setting up a national biodiversity centre in Banting to coordinate efforts by government agencies and the private sector. The government will also review the laws in relation to the protection of wildlife and forests such as the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716) and the National Forestry Act 1984. The amendments to the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716) and the National Forestry Act 1984 will be tabled in the March and November parliamentary session to make the laws stricter for effective governance.

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To reduce 40% carbon emissions by 2020, as to support the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

27 January 2019

Minister communicated a Low Carbon Cities 2030 vision, visiting Batu Pahat as one example of a city on track to be a low carbon emission city

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Focus on green technology development and renewable

04 May 2019

Minister Yeo Bee Yin, who helms the vast ministry, has been implementing 80 initiatives across its many agencies since assuming the post on July 2 last year. Part of the initiatives touch on energy, especially renewable energy, research and development, start-­up funding and climate change.

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Increase renewable energy through renewable resources to 20% by 2025

15 November 2018

Electrical and Tariff Supply Implementation and Planning Committee found that some 3,991 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy need to be added to the power supply system.

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Reduce the dependence on coal power plants to reduce CO2 emissions

14 January 2019

Tenaga Nasional is shifting to blended coal

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Re-evaluate investment policy to prioritise high technology industries and to use energy from renewable resources

14 July 2018

Government cancels four independent power producer (IPP) contracts from the previous administration as part of their plan to focus on renewable energy  

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Revise all laws and regulations pertaining to environmental management and protection to create proper governance structure
Ensure strict rules enforcement to prevent pollution by foreign companies

09 June 2019

More stringent checks will be carried out on containers at all ports to ensure no prohibited plastic waste enters the country. Customs director-general Datuk Paddy Abdul Halim said they are working with the National Solid Waste Management Department (NSWMD) and the Department of Environment to combat the smuggling of plastic waste into Malaysia.

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Set-up a National Coordination Council for Climate Adaptation and Mitigation to coordinate the actions of the federal, state and local government

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Stop all efforts to build nuclear power plants

26 April 2019

During a dialog with with 40 Chinese investors in Beijing on 26 April 2019, Dr Mahathir said Malaysia is working to switch from conventional power generation with renewable power generation methods. When asked if nuclear power is an option for Malaysia, he said, “No”. The Prime Minister was in Beijing to attend the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.  

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