NParks working to preserve Ubin's rusticity

Straits Times Forum 18 Mar 19;

We thank the public for their feedback (Many rules, fewer visitors, say Pulau Ubin Islanders, Feb 24; NParks need to be more transparent on Ubin; and Myriad rules killing feel of kampung life, both March 4).

Since taking over as the central managing agency for Ubin in 2016, the National Parks Board (NParks) has sought to maintain and enhance the island's much-loved rusticity.

Our priorities were to ensure the safety of residents and visitors, and protect Ubin's natural and built heritage. And NParks has maintained the status quo, as much as possible.

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Malaysia: Nine states on Level 1 heatwave alert

The Star 19 Mar 19;

PETALING JAYA: It is getting hotter by the day with temperatures in the peninsula “boiling” between 35°C and 40°C.

The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) has put a district in Kedah on Level 2 heatwave alert while 23 districts in seven states and one federal territory in the peninsula are on Level 1 after temperatures increased.

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Malaysia: Two more chemical waste dump sites found in Pasir Gudang

Rizalman Hammim New Straits Times 18 Mar 19;

JOHOR BARU: Two more rivers in Pasir Gudang have been found to have been used as dump sites for chemical waste.

In the first case, about 10 plastic barrels, believed to contain chemical substances, were found in Sungai Masai next to the Pasir Gudang Highway.

The discovery was made by residents of nearby housing estates on Sunday after the authorities came to the location to start cleaning works.

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Malaysia: Schools in Pasir Gudang to remain closed

Rizalman Hammim New Straits Times 18 Mar 19;

JOHOR BARU: Schools in Pasir Gudang will remain closed until the term break next week, said Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik.

He said the decision was made after a briefing with the authorities and experts who are involved in the chemical dump issue at Pasir Gudang.

“Following the briefing, it was decided that the schools could not reopen yet. The decision was taken as a precautionary measure," he said in a press conference after visiting the medic base at the Pasir Gudang Indoor Stadium.

During the visit, he was also briefed on the latest situation by the relevant agencies.

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Malaysia: Malayan tiger could be extinct in 5 to 10 years

Bernama New Straits Times 18 Mar 19;

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malayan tiger is likely to become extinct in the next five to 10 years if no drastic measures are taken to protect the species.

Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar said the Malayan tiger population was at a worrying level, with fewer than 200 left, according to the First National Tiger Survey conducted from 2016 to 2018.

“The actual population of Malayan tigers will be known once the survey is completed in 2020,” he said in reply to Ahmad Fahmi Mohamed Fadzil (PH-Lembah Pantai) at the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.

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Malaysia: Bear on loose in Kalimantan town

The Jakarta Post 18 Mar 19;

The agency suspect that it is a sun bear and was a resident’s pet. It was first spotted by the residents of a housing complex.

“[We searched] for the dog-sized bear in bushes close to the housing complex but we did not find it,” chief patrol officer Muriansyah told on Sunday.

The BKSDA has set up a trap filled with cempedak (a fruit similar to jackfruit) in a bid to capture it, but as of Sunday the bear is still on the run.

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Indonesia: Papua flood death toll climbs to 79, 43 still missing

The Jakarta Post 18 Mar 19;

A seven-hour torrential downpour caused the flood, which has forced 4,728 residents to evacuate to six different emergency shelters. Meanwhile, the BNPB has estimated that 11,725 families have been affected by the flood.

The floodwaters also demolished around 350 houses and inundated 211 others, while public facilities were also torn apart by the disaster, according to BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

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Indonesia: Flooding in Purworejo forces 1,500 to flee homes

Suherdjoko The Jakarta Post 18 Mar 19;

Torrential rain on Saturday and Sunday left four districts in Purworejo, Central Java inundated on Monday, forcing about 1,500 people to flee their homes.

Homes experienced up to 80 centimeters of inundation on Monday, however no fatalities were reported.

"We call on people to be alert and immediately report to us if they need help," Purworejo Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) head Sutrisno said Monday.

He said Purworejo had received assistance from BPBDs in other regencies in the province, including from Magelang and Kebumen and from a search and rescue agency in Cilacap.

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