Assemblymen tickled by irony of using plastic at meetings

BRENDA CH’NG and FARID WAHAB at Selangor State Assembly

LAUGHTER filled the house after Rajiv Rishyakaran (PH-Bukit Gasing) questioned the presence of single-use plastic water bottles at meetings, which was contrary to the state’s commitment to curb single-use plastics.

Speaker Ng Suee Lim replied that the state government would make the necessary improvements, gaining the approval of assemblymen who thumped the tables with their hands.

This joke arose after Hee Loy Sian (PH-Kajang) answered a question by Datuk Rosni Sihar (BN-Hulu Bernam) about the state’s ban on plastic straws.

“Based on our exco meeting previously, the state approved the ban on single-use plastics in government buildings, starting with the state secretariat, effective July 1, ” said Hee, who is also the environment, green technology and consumer affairs, science, technology and environment committee chairman.

Hee urged all government officers to take the lead and stop the use of single-use plastics for the public to follow suit.

In relation to this, Jamaliah Jamaluddin (PH-Bandar Utama) asked the state to tackle the use of plastic containers at bubble tea shops mushrooming statewide.

“We are not carrying out any enforcement against eateries still using plastics for now as we are in the education and awareness stage.

“But there are plans to start enforcement efforts in future.

“For bubble tea operators, we are planning a dialogue with those involved to come up with ways to improve the packaging and find alternative materials to plastic, ” he said.

This year, RM456,000 was allocated to all 12 local councils to carry out green activities to curb single-use plastics.

Another RM20,000 was spent on Karnival Kepenggunaan Siswa Selangor 2019 and the “No Straw” awareness programme involving various parties such as schools and non-governmental organisations.

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