Malaysia, Johor: Policy to protect the environment

MOHD FARHAAN SHAH The Star 1 Apr 17;

JOHOR BARU: The state government will introduce a wellbeing policy by the third quarter of this year aimed at protecting and keeping the environment clean from pollution.

Johor Health, Environment, Education, and Information committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat said a study on the new policy known as Dasar Kelestarian Alam had five key initiatives.

They are conservation of natural resources, green economy, upgrading the management system, empowering the rakyat and promoting a prudent lifestyle.

Ayub added the policy was expected to be launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin in August this year.

“Before the policy is launched, the state government will be holding a town hall to get feedback about the initiatives from stakeholders such as the rakyat, non-governmental organisations and environmental experts,” he said after the district-level Community in River gotong royong event held at Sungai Tebrau near Kampung Bakar Batu here on March 30.

Ayub added the policy would educate the rakyat that keeping the environment clean was the responsibility of all and not just the government.

Ayub cited the pollution of Sungai Skudai where rubbish amounting to 500 tonnes is collected yearly, as well as the dirty conditions of Sungai Tebrau.

“Besides effluents from industrial and plantation waste, we also found all sorts of rubbish along Sungai Skudai including a mattress and bed thrown by irresponsible individuals.

“Under the policy, the state government will charge factories or anyone found polluting the environment a certain amount of money as it costs a lot to clean up the environment,” he said.

Ayub commended volunteers from the Johor Youth Council for helping to clean up the river.

“There are six polluted rivers in the state and the government will introduced a council, headed by the State Economic Planning Unit (Upen), which will come up with appropriate measures to clean the rivers.

“If we want clean rivers, we will need everybody, including local councils, to be more proactive in their approach,” he said.

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