JOHOR BARU: The Johor-based non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are hoping the new state government can work closely with them for a better Johor.
Green Earth Society Johor president P. Sivakumar said many of the NGOs, including the environment-related NGOs, hardly received financial assistance from the previous Barisan Nasional state government.
“Our society members have to dig into our own pockets to organise activities and programmes on environmental awareness or work together with companies,” he said when contacted yesterday.
Sivakumar said there were many environment-related issues that needed immediate attention from the state government including river pollution and deforestation.
He said failing to address and solve these problems would result in long-term effects for Johor, including a water crisis as raw water supply from rivers were contaminated.
Sivakumar added that Johor must ensure that forest reserves or jungles in the state would not be encroached on by humans for illegal agriculture or logging activities as they were the main water catchment areas.
“Polluted and contaminated rivers will not only affect out water supply but also the livelihood of our inland fishermen who depend on them,’’ he said.
Sivakumar said the environment-based NGOs such as Green Earth Society Johor needed funds to organise campaigns or programmes on environmental awareness.
“We need to organise them regularly to create better awareness among the people or else they will take the environmental issues lightly,’’ he said.
Johor Consumers Movement Association chairman Md Salleh Sadijo said it needed between RM40,000 and RM50,000 yearly to organise programmes on consumerism.
He said the money would be used to organise seminars on consumerism, monitor prices of goods to prevent profiteering as well as keep an eye on cleanliness at food and beverage outlets.
Salleh said the association, set up in 2013, received RM20,000 allocation from the Barisan state government in 2013 and it was the only time that they received funds.
“We submitted a letter in 2015 to the previous state government for funding but they did not reply to us,” he said.
Salleh hoped the new state government would actively engage with the NGOs as they could provide feedback to the state government on issues concerning the rakyat.
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