Malaysia: 15% of coastline being eroded

The Star 18 Dec 17;

KUALA LUMPUR: A study on coastal erosion in Malaysia found that 15.3% of the country’s coastline is experiencing erosion, says Natural Resources and Environ­ment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

The National Coastal Erosion Study (NCES) was carried out in 2015 to examine the issue of coastal erosion as a whole.

He said that the study found that the total length of the country’s coastline is 8,840km, comprising 3,772km in the peninsula, Sabah (3,753km), Sarawak (1,234km) and Labuan (81km).

“Kuala Nerus beach was one of the 44 areas, covering 55.4km, which was experiencing critical erosion. A total of RM90mil was allocated under the Rolling Plan Three of the 11th Malaysia Plan for coastal erosion control project which was scheduled to commence next year at the beach.

On a separate matter, Dr Wan Junaidi said the Department of Environment (DOE) will take action against landowners involved in the fire at an illegal dumpsite in Jalan Ulu Yam, Gombak, Selangor.

DOE personnel had gone to the site to conduct investigations following complaints it received on social media.

“Investigations revealed that the fire broke out at the hillside area near Jalan Utara Ulu Yam-Gombak, which is used as an illegal dumpsite. The fire covered 0.4ha,” he added.

He said the DOE was conducting daily monitoring and patrolling to ensure that there was no new open burning.

Under Section 29(A) of the Environmental Quality Act 1974, those found guilty of open burning can be fined up to RM500,000 or imprisoned up to five years, or both.

“Under this provision, landowners can also be penalised if open burning occurs on their land,” said Dr Wan Junaidi.