Malaysia: 14 NGOs Form Gerak To Fight For Environmental Issues

Bernama 19 Oct 16;

KUANTAN, Oct 19 (Bernama)-- Fourteen non- governmental organisations (NGOs) have formed a joint body as a platform to champion and raise issues related to the environment in the country.

President of the Association for the Protection of Natural Heritage of Malaysia (Peka), Puan Sri Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil said the body called the Malaysian People's Environmental Movement (Gerak), was also joined by environmental activists including lawyer Siti Kasim.

"Recently, we held a seminar titled 'Sustainability of Natural Resources: Causes and Problems, Partnership and Solutions' for three days in Raub, Pahang. The 50 participants were from various groups such as environmental NGOs, as well as academicians and Orang Asli.

"After the seminar, we felt there was a need to form a joint body to unite all NGOs so that we can raise issues related to the environment and seek firmer solutions together," she told Bernama, here, today.

She said the body would be registered with the Registrar of Societies (ROS) soon and it was expected that more environmental NGOs would join it from time to time.

Among the NGOs that have already registered to join Gerak were Peka, People's Movement to Stop Bauxite Pollution (Geram), Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) Pahang branch, Association of Fireflies (Kecap), Malaysia Environmental Activists Association (Kuasa) and Pahang Orang Asli Village Network.

Meanwhile, Prof Dr Mohamed Maketab who was appointed as Gerak chairman, said the establishment of a joint body was aimed at helping to solve and voice concerns over environmental issues to the government such as mining issues, illegal and uncontrolled logging, and the destruction of rivers.

"Gerak is not established to oppose the government or any party, but we are against any act of destroying the environment because it will affect our future generations.

"In fact, we are willing to cooperate with any state government to resolve any issues related to the environment and to provide academic reports on the effects of the destruction. The time has come for the federal government and the state government to view the issue more seriously.

"Hopefully, we will not come to a day when the country's rivers have dried up and our forests have become bald, and only then we want to take action when it is too late," he said.


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