World Environment Day (WED)’s theme for this year is Beat Plastic Pollution. This
strikes a chord with the DAP, which is the first green political party in Malaysia.
Combating plastic pollution was the first major environmental battle undertaken by
the DAP-led Penang State Government since coming to power in 2008.
Penang is the only state to implement the No Free Plastic Bag campaign in all
supermarkets and hypermarkets. Twenty sen is charged for each piece of plastic
bag – a baby-step in raising public awareness on plastic pollution and introducing the
polluters-pay principle. DAP welcomes the initiative to prepare a similar nationwide
ban of plastic bags by 2020.
The growing plastic wastes put a huge constraint on our limited resources. Out of
170 waste disposal sites in Malaysia, only 14 are sanitary landfills that could prevent
pollution of our soil and water resources. We need to invest in proper integrated
waste management system including considering products life-cycle management on
manufacturers to reduce environmental impacts at end-of-life.
We are committed to the principle of sustainable development as part of our green
agenda stated in our Pakatan manifesto No 39 – balancing economic development
with environmental protection.
We must also fulfil our international pledge at the Rio Earth Summit 1992 by
maintaining 50% forest cover (including totally protected forests and production
forests) and halting biodiversity loss, among a wide range of environmental
challenges before us. Penang should not be the only state in Malaysia that has
protected our forest reserves by not cutting down a single square inch of forests.
Penang is proud of that record that it should be adopted, especially reducing
logging in Pahang and Kelantan.
Malaysia is a party to the Paris Agreement (PA) of the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the UN Sustainable Development Goals
and the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. Let us be guided by a
strong set of those ecological principles that can allow Malaysians to live in an
environment that is clean, green, safe and healthy.
Lim Guan Eng