‘This is in my mind a crime against humanity when the drinking water of a community is being threatened by acts and omissions!’
ARE MALAYSIAN AUTHORITIES TOOTHLESS TO ACT AGAINST THE POISONING OF OUR WATERWAYS ASKS MALAYSIA ASEAN APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE?
This matter was raised from 1979 by this writer and it is disheartening that apart from fake assurances, cosmetic enforcement, high octave speeches by politicians and ministers and head of states, nothing constructive has happened to address the issue!
Yes, we have the Ministry of Environment, the Local Government Ministry as well, we have a huge civil service population paid by ratepayers and of course, and we went further setting up even a commission!
But has anything changed?
I ask a pertinent question whether our water supply is, or has been, contaminated by the illegal dumpsites and various forms of pollution from human and river bank activities and private land used for illegal dumping by criminals and cartels who pay land owners?
And this get complicated with the same land transformed into landfills full of electronics, plastic, cosmetics, pharmaceutical and industrial wastes from Japan, the United States, and Poland, among others.
This is in my mind a crime against humanity when the drinking water of a community is being threatened by acts and omissions!
Acts by criminals making huge monies providing a service of turning our waterways, areas close to our waterways into a landfill or dumpsites!
And due to omission by the stakeholders who close both eyes despite adequate statutes and legislature because they have been compromised?
In the past the threats were rapid economic development and urbanization which had resulted in degradation and depletion of natural resources, including water and related ecosystem services.
Questions can now be raised whether many rivers in Malaysia are highly polluted with domestic, industrial and agricultural waste, causing the Water Quality Index (WQI) to reach unsafe levels?
Excuse me, YB Minister, it is no longer about the installation of trash traps, the upgrading of flood catchment ponds, sewage treatment plant, and sewerage systems!
It is no longer the political rhetoric about an integrated approach for protecting urban water bodies, developing relevant legal frameworks and enforcement mechanisms!
It is now about a high powered criminalization of those who are aiding, abetting and carrying out works that threaten our source of drinking water!
This is now a national security issue – period!