THERE were cheers and applause during a talk on youth and climate change when Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil said in jest that although he is now a lawmaker, it does not mean he cannot be a part-time rabble rouser – in support of a good cause, of course.
At the Youth and Climate Crisis: Ambassadors for Change event held at KL Gateway Mall in Pantai Dalam, the former student activist encouraged more people to participate in a demonstration organised by Klima Action (Kamy) and supported by Amnesty International planned for tomorrow.
Other organisations which will be participating in the protest are Greenpeace, Zero Waste, Centre for Environment, Technology and Development, Kelab Bangsar Utama, Komuniti Hutan Shah Alam and Komuniti Nelayan Pulau Pinang.
The demonstration is in conjunction with Global Climate Strike, an international campaign to demand action against global warming.
Ahmad Fahmi said in addition to laws, another way perpetrators responsible for the haze could be made to change their ways was to get more people on the streets to demonstrate how displeased they were with their actions.
In view of the cost of climate change in terms of human lives and billions in damage in the Asean region alone, Fahmi said choosing to do nothing was like a gradual descent into a deep ravine with the return journey becoming more difficult with each downward step.
But he added that issues regarding the haze and climate issues should not only be at the forefront at this weekend’s demonstration.
“It should become part of everyday conversation in coffee shops, workplaces, longhouses, public transport, schools, houses of worship and wet markets.
“Perhaps at the next Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting, this issue should also be raised, ” he said.
He urged activists to make their presence felt and voices heard in Parliament.
“At the next Parliament sitting, you should all come and share your ideas with the Prime Minister, ” he added.
In line with the environmental theme, he announced that a “rewilding” project in his constituency would see some 233 trees being planted at Jalan Ara in Bangsar and Jalan Kerinchi in Pantai Dalam.
Taman Rimba Bukit Kerinchi will also be replanted with suitable tree species.
“I am starting community gardens where people will learn how to do composting and get back to nature too, ” said Fahmi.
Persatuan Arborist Malaysia and Free Trees Society would be roped in to help with the project.
The demonstration tomorrow is scheduled to start at 4pm and end by 7pm.
It will start from Sogo department store in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and end in Dataran Merdeka, Jalan Raja, Kuala Lumpur.
Touted as the first anti-haze protest to take place in the country, Kamy co-founder Ili Nadiah Dzulfakar said there were several objectives both pressure groups wanted to achieve with the street demonstration.
One was to raise public awareness of the haze situation in the country.
Another was to increase the visibility of the problem among South-East Asian countries, so that those who practise land clearing via the slash-and-burn method would realise the consequences of their actions.
The demonstration is also aimed at getting politicians and media practitioners to stop taking a passive stance when it comes to environmental issues.
The organisers also want the authorities to come down hard on the guilty parties, no matter how big the company or how important the people behind it.
Lastly, the groups want the authorities to declare that a climate crisis is taking place so that funds could be mobilised and policies drafted to address the problem effectively.