Malaysia become Foreign Trash Importing Nation

Since early 2018 China has banned importing plastic waste from developed countries which left European countries and US who used to do so in shocked and panic. In fact, they are unable to handle such huge amount of waste by themselves. As a result, they look for alternative that exporting plastic waste to other regions such as Southeast Asian countries where Malaysia is one of the destinations.

Recently, Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Yeo Bee Yin said that Malaysia would not become Foreign Trash Bin of world. However, there were mushrooming of waste collecting factories along coastal area of Selangor State. According a news report of Nanyang Siang Pau, there were total 54 waste collecting factories had been indicated along Kuala Langat. Some of these factories are found operating illegally.
The imported foreign trashes include electronic waste, food waste, medical waste, industrial waste and radioactive waste. While incinerating these waste, those factories would discharge toxic gases and cause serious air pollution. Certainly, the health of local residents are seriously threatened. If the relevant authorities refuse to take any further steps, the problem will be escalating that jeorpadizing the wellbeing of Selangor coastal area.

Furthermore, we are regret to a statement made by Minister of Housing and Local Government Zuraida Kamarudin. She said the government would levy RM15 per tonne of imported waste on operators after 23rd Oct 2018. This is an unwise decision which will not be able to solve the issue. In fact, RM 15 is nothing for the waste operators. On contrary, this will encourage the operators to import more foreign waste as the price is so cheap.

Since 2013, Kuala Lumpur Rejects Incinerator Action Committee (KTI) has started opposing the Kepong Incinerator Project which was scheduled to be built at highly populated area. Undoubtedly, incinerator will release toxic gases such as dioxin which will jeopardize lives of residence. KTI believes that there is no urgency to build incinerator as the current sanitary landfill at Bukit Tagar can still handle the municipal waste generated by the folks of Kuala Lumpur and even Selangor for another 70 years. Having said that, the government should boost up its implementation of waste separation policy instead of embarking on private finance initiative to build an incinerator. KTI had met with the Housing Minister last month and she promised that she would look for the best, greenest, sustainable waste solutions for the people. And the planned Kepong incinerator project was put on hold and under review for the time being. However, the Housing Minister said she planned to build at least one Incinerator at each state of Malaysia within 2 years. KTI was shocked and totally disagree with the decision. Our position is to do away the mindset of incinerator is the best, green and faster way to curb waste problem. KTI advise the Housing Minister to listen to more alternative views other than the lobbyists of incinerator.

KTI believes the new waste managing policies are totally not aligned to the Pakatan Harapan Government’s aspiration to prioritize people’s wellbeing. Hence, KTI urges the PH government pay more attention to the import of foreign Waste and Incinerator issues. The PH government should avoid the mistakes made by the previous government that being ignorant to the demands of people which led to the fall of Barisan National.

Jawatankuasa Bertindak Kuala Lumpur Tak Nak Insinerator / 吉隆坡不要焚化炉行动委员会


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