Archive for March, 2009

Government Should Instil Public Awareness Of Global Warming

Posted on March 26, 2009. Filed under: Climate Change |

The government should create greater public awareness of environmental issues and to provide better public transport to address the threat of global warming.

Centre for Environment, Technology and Development Malaysia (CETDEM) chairman Gurmit Singh said the public could help protect the environment by using public transport and this would definitely reduce carbon emissions compared with driving their personal cars.

“The government can promote the use of public transport using the same concept in its campaign to use electricity economically so as to avoid energy wastage,” he said at the Climate Change Forum, here, Thursday.

The forum was organised by the British High Commission in collaboration with the Chevening Alumni of Malaysia.

Gurmit said high carbon gas emissions were not due to electricity usage but fuel consumption.

“Our studies have shown that if consumers use public transport instead of personal transport, it will cut down carbon emissions by about one quarter,” he said.

Apart from that, he said, the public and private sectors should show continuous commitment to preserving and protecting the environment by conducting more research and development on climate change.

“Currently, there is not enough support in creating environmental awareness from the two sectors to ensure Malaysia does not contribute to high carbon gas emissions,” he added.


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Consumers Still Don’t Treasure Water

Posted on March 26, 2009. Filed under: Water resource |

Consumers in Malaysia still do not realise the need to conserve water despite the depleting water resources.

“Although it rains throughout the year in Malaysia, the country’s water resources is diminishing, especially due to pollution,” Puncak Niaga (M) Sdn Bhd corporate division general manager Shuhainie Shamsuddin told Bernama here today.

She said a celebration to commemorate World’s Water Day would be held on Sunday to instil public awareness on the importance of water conservation.

Shuhainie said various programmes would be held in conjunction with the celebration, to be held at Puncak Niaga headquarters at Wisma Rozali, Section 13, Shah Alam .


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Uproar over tiger park plan

Posted on March 26, 2009. Filed under: Bio-diversity |

The claws are out against Penang’s tiger park idea as it is unsuitable for the urban island and infringes the spirit of tiger conservation efforts.

THE response has been ferocious. Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s proposed plan to create a tiger park on 40ha of hilly terrain in Relau has been slammed by all and sundry.

With the fluster it has created among environmental organisations, including the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and locals, the Penang government should perhaps abide by the old Chinese saying: There can only be one tiger on one hill.


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Cleaning Up River With Mud Balls

Posted on March 25, 2009. Filed under: Pollution, Water resource |

YB Phee Boon Poh holding a giant mud ball as part of the Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La river cleanup.

Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La, Penang, Malaysia is the first resort to set up a Research and Development Centre to study the Effective Microorganism (EM) technology and produce EM mud balls to clean up the rivers at Batu Feringgi. The Research and Development Centre was officially launched by Yang Berhormat Mr. Phee Boon Poh, Chairman and Exco of the state Health and Welfare, Caring Society and Environment committee.

The mud balls are made up of a combination of earth, EM treated rice-rinsed water and Bokashi, a fermented organic matter made using sawdust and bran. The mixture is patted into balls for slow and even disbursement into the river. General Manager, Bruno Cristol stated that the mud ball is more like a magic ball which does wonders to the environment. The concoction is extremely effective in breaking down harmful bacteria and had been used successfully in cleaning up 150 rivers in Japan.

YB Phee Boon Poh and Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La General Manager Bruno Cristol seen throwing mud balls into Sungai Emas.

The resort’s corporate social responsibility effort themed Pollution to Solution – Save the River Campaign in Batu Feringgi, started with a mud ball making competition among the resort’s guests. About thirty foreign tourists participated in the activity to contribute to this environmentally worthy cause. The outcome was 1,407 mud balls made within an hour, in preparation for the launching of the campaign. A week after the amusing mud ball making competition, the resort’s Research and Development Centre was officially launched.

During the launch, Cristol lead the entourage of State Exco members, guests and staff of the hotel to the nearby Sungai Emas at Batu Feringgi to throw the mud balls into the river. The resort has agreed to adopt the polluted river and help in its rehabilitation using the EM mud balls as an initial step.

Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La General Manager Bruno Cristol and YB Phee Boon Poh watering the plants with fermented rice rinse water.

“I want to commend the resort for taking the first step towards saving Mother Nature and hope it will yield positive results soon,” said Law Choo Kiang, State Agriculture and Agro-based, Rural Development and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman in his speech during the launching ceremony.

Cristol added that this was part of the resort’s corporate social responsibility initiative which everybody’s cooperation is needed to improve the river condition, and ultimately preserve it. The event concluded with attendees being treated to a luncheon at the resort. (Hotels Magazine)

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2nd Malaysian stimulus package – what it holds for energy/power sector

Posted on March 24, 2009. Filed under: Energy |

Singapore (ANTARA News/PRNewswire-AsiaNet) — The Malaysian government announced a huge stimulus package on March 10, 2009. The first package announced in November 2008 was generally considered to be too timid and too little. The second package is to be implemented over two years and commits RM 60 billion (US$16.2 billion) to stimulating the economy. What opportunities can the energy and power industry expect from this package?

According to Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Associate Director of Energy & Power Systems Practice Subramanya Bettadapura, there will be a thrust on development of Eastern Malaysian States, especially through the Kota Kinabalu transmission system project.

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Expect less rainfall from August: Dept

Posted on March 23, 2009. Filed under: Climate Change |

The Meteorological Services Department forecasts that Sabah will see less rainfall starting August, especially in West Coast South and interior areas.

Its Sabah Director Abdul Malik Tussin said the La Nina phenomenon is weakening even though the current amount of rainfall is still more than average.

“Now we are experiencing monsoon from the Northeast direction that started from November, last year until March, this year,” he said at a meet-the-client session in Tanjung Aru, Sunday, held in conjunction with World Meteorological Day on March 23.

However, Abdul Malik said while the amount of rainfall at the moment was more than average, its intensity was also getting weaker as the El Nino phenomenon sets in.

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檳嚴懲河流垃圾蟲 (Stern action will be taken against river polluters)

Posted on March 22, 2009. Filed under: Pollution |




















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Tiger park is bad idea, say NGOs

Posted on March 22, 2009. Filed under: Bio-diversity |

GEORGE TOWN: A coalition of non-governmental organisations has warned the state that the proposed tiger park will have negative implications.

The Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (Mycat), which comprises the Malaysian Nature Society, Traffic Southeast Asia, Wildlife Conservation Society-Malaysia Programme and World Wildlife Fund-Malaysia, said building zoos and wildlife parks always sounded simple and exciting.

“Malaysia already has more than 40 zoos and monitoring them is a huge task for the authorities, who are also holding the responsibility of protecting wildlife in the wild,” it said in a statement yesterday.

Mycat stated that some Malaysian zoos had been linked to illegal wildlife trafficking, citing the discovery of four smuggled gorillas at the Taiping Zoo a few years ago.

It also cited the Saleng Zoo in Johor, which was hauled up many times for illegally acquiring endangered species.

Mycat said tiger parks such as the Harbin Siberian Tiger Park and the Guilin Tiger Park in China were actually farms that bred thousands of tigers. They were heavily implicated in the killing and sale of their tigers.

“Thailand’s Sri Racha Tiger Park Zoo has also been implicated in illegal wildlife trade.”

It said tiger parks such as Corbett, Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Kaziranga and Way Kambas were protected areas in their respective countries.

“It is like our own Taman Negara. These are preserved habitats for tigers and other naturally-occurring wildlife, not private tiger zoos.”

Mycat cautioned that feeding one animal would cost about RM30,000 a year.

“What happens if Penang, or the private company executing this project, runs out of money to maintain the tigers?

“Will the state then suggest that the reasonable thing to do would be to trade some of its tigers to keep the park functioning, just as the tiger farms in China are attempting to do?”

Mycat raised another concern: The source of the tigers.

“How many tigers will this park aim to house? Will they be bred, and if so, for what purpose?”

Mycat was puzzled why the state would want to embark on a “difficult, potentially controversial and expensive project like this when it had natural wonders like the Penang State Park, beaches, culture, food and its Unesco World Heritage Status to draw from”.

“There have been cases where a country’s tourism income has been severely affected because of the response to an ill-thought of action,” it said, citing the boycott of Thailand’s Tiger Temple following investigations by Care For The Wild, an animal welfare and conservation charity.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had said that the state planned to set up a tiger park on a 40ha plot of land owned by the Penang Island Municipal Council. (NST)

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Activists slam proposed tiger park in Malaysia

Posted on March 21, 2009. Filed under: Bio-diversity |

Conservationists have slammed plans to create a tiger park on Malaysia’s resort island of Penang, warning Saturday that the project would be too expensive to maintain and could lead to illegal wildlife trade.

The Penang government recently proposed setting up a 100-acre (40-hectare) tiger park to boost tourism, a key revenue-earner for the northern state.

But the Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers said the country already has 40 zoos and that maintaining them is a challenge for authorities.

It also warned that some preserves — like Harbin Siberian Tiger Park and Guilin Tiger Park in China — are essentially farms that breed thousands of tigers and have been implicated in illegally profiting from the killing and sale of their animals.

“Building zoos and wildlife parks always sounds simple and exciting, but in reality, this is far from the truth and has far more negative implications,” it said in a letter to the Penang government.

“Housing and feeding large numbers of these carnivores will be financially draining as tigers are notoriously expensive animals to keep in captivity. Feeding alone will cost about 30,000 ringgit ($8,219) per animal per year,” it said.

It expressed fears that the animals could end up being sold to maintain the park.

The group said the plan also violates the federal government’s commitment to protect and increase wild tiger populations. Under the National Tiger Action Plan launched in December, jungle corridors will be protected and authorities hope there will be 1,000 Malayan tigers roaming in the wild by 2020.

Illegal hunting and the human encroachment and destruction of natural jungle habitat have reduced Malaysia’s wild tiger population from 3,000 to 500 in the last half-century. Although illegal, tiger meat is exported, served at exotic restaurants and used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng promised Saturday his government will consider all public views before making a final decision.

“We must continue to upgrade” to attract tourists, he told The Associated Press. “We should not be caught in old mind-set, we must be creative and innovative.” (International Herald Tribune)

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Sg Pinang will be cleaned up in 5 years and cost RM150mil

Posted on March 21, 2009. Filed under: Pollution |

GEORGE TOWN: Sungai Pinang, one of the seven most polluted rivers in Malaysia, will be clean enough to swim in about five years and the cleanup will cost RM150mil.

But before that, 300 families living by the river would have to be relocated, said State Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) director Hanapi Mohamad Noor and this is expected to take two years.

“Once that is done, we will start the rehabilitation works which will take three years to complete.

“The entire project will cost RM150mil,” he told reporters after a 2km tour along the river by boats on Saturday.

Also present were state executive councillors Phee Boon Poh and Law Choo Kiang, Datuk Keramat assemblyman Jagdeep Singh and Sungai Pinang assemblyman Koid Teng Guan.

Hanapi said Sungai Pinang was one of the seven most polluted rivers in Malaysia and had was so polluted that it was once deemed Class V with no marine life before the first phase of its rehabilitation, costing RM20mil, was completed in 2007.

Now the river had improved to being between Class III and IV.

On the relocation of the families, Hanapi said 129 buildings comprising 118 houses, six shops, three stores and two temples and would be affected.

“The state government is working out on the compensation plan for the relocation process,” he said.

Hanapi said the second phase of the river rehabilitation would include building of retention ponds and interceptor drains and installation of gross pollutant traps to increase the river water quality to Class II, increase the river’s biodiversity and turn it into a water source and tourism product and beautification work.

He said a study on the cause of pollution showed the wastes and rubbish found in the river were ‘man-made’.

Law said there was certainly ‘a lot of’ room for improvement after the visit.

“I have told the relevant authorities not to hesitate to take action against those who flouted the rules and regulation by throwing rubbish into the river.

“They can just act according to the law,” he said.

Law said he was shocked to learn that more than 120 metric tonne of rubbish and wastes were scooped out from the river annually.

He urged those with information on river polluters to come forward so that action can be taken against the culprit. (The Star)

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