Dissecting Environmental Problems in the 12th Malaysian Plane

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COMMENT | The Malaysian Water and Energy Research Association (Awer) has prepared comments on the 12th Malaysian Plan (12MP).

These comments are based on previous reports and suggestions published by Awer as well as information found in the 12MP, 11th Malaysian Plane, 10th Malaysian Plane and 9th Malaysian Plane.

1. Sustainable and smart cities

Smart cities come with many electronic gadgets that produce electronic waste that needs to be included in waste management planning.

It is also equally important that the government ensure that energy efficient and environmentally friendly building materials are used for sustainable and smart cities to maximize positive outcomes.

When designing sustainable cities, planning should also include a “rebound” effect that may work against the original sustainability criteria and the outcome package.

The deployment of source separation, 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle), as well as waste recovery approaches must be done in a coherent manner and against some of the existing concession agreements and archaic waste management models for achieve a sustainable city.

2. Urban biodiversity

The government must implement the proposal of Awer on the creation of water catchment areas at mid-term and downstream which will complement the plan to create urban biodiversity while optimizing costs.

3. Conserve and preserve natural capital

Natural capital refers to our environment as a resource. It is a laudable gesture when the government commits to conserving and preserving natural capital.

However, how can the monetization of natural capital through mining, deforestation, logging, monoculture, etc. contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to conserve and preserve the environment?

Conflicting statements within the 12MP do not bode well to reflect the government’s real commitment to the environment.

What are the detailed analysis, goals or limits set so that people know clearly how much nature will be permanently destroyed in the decades to come?

4. Industry self-regulation is a mistake

At the end of 2018, as the government moved towards self-regulation of the industry, Awer opposed the senseless move. This was also submitted to the Minister responsible for the environment at the end of 2018.

After multiple pollution incidents, notably in Pasir Gudang and the shameful response of regulators, this is a clear example that businesses are profit-driven and self-regulation will not protect the environment.

There should be clear sets of regulations and better enforcement to protect depleted natural capital and self-regulation should be ruled out.

5. Reduced dependence on natural resources

The government’s commitment to monetize natural capital and statements aimed at reducing dependence on natural resources do not rhyme with the commitment to protect natural capital.

The commitment of …


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