5,601 notices issued over use of polystyrene and straws

The ban on use of polystyrene in Johor was enforced on July 1 this year. — Filepic

ISKANDAR PUTERI: Local authorities in Johor have issued a total of 5,601 notices to food business operators in the state since July for violating the ban on the use of polystyrene containers and straws at their premises.

State housing and local government committee chairman Ayub Jamil said 2,780 notices were issued in July, 1,432 in August, 1,346 in September and 43 in October.

He said the notices were issued during 36,044 checks conducted at the premises, which included restaurants, night markets, public markets, bazaars, food stalls, food trucks, hawkers, school canteens as well as groceries and convenience stores.

“No compounds were issued nor seizures made this year, indicating better compliance with regulations by traders, “ he said at the state assembly sitting in response to a question by Tan Hong Pin (PH-Skudai).

Hong Pin asked about the progress in the implementation of the polystyrene container ban at all business premises beginning July.

Ayub said the ban was launched by the state government in December last year after taking into account their negative effects on health and the environment.

However, the ban was only enforced starting July 1 this year.

On the number of foreign workers in Johor, state investment, cooperatives, entrepreneurship development and human resource committee chairman Datuk Mohd Izhar Ahmad said the number now stood at 250,000.

He said a majority of the workers were in the construction, manufacturing, services and farming sectors.

“We have to look into the number of foreign workers when looking into policies to increase job opportunities for locals.

“We need to ensure that we can handle the number of foreign workers here and that it will not be problem for the state government, ” he said during the sitting.

In dealing with unemployment in Johor, Izhar said the state government was identifying industry players with the capacity to provide job opportunities for locals.

“We will look into sectors that can provide more job opportunities and focus on these.

“Our reskilling and upskilling efforts also need to focus on workers in these sectors.

“We received about 10,167 job opportunities through investments.

“On top of that, Iskandar Malaysia provided some 798,000 jobs for locals here, with 15% in the skilled and professional sector and 16% in the semi-skilled sector.

“They include education, health, logistics, tourism, petroleum, electronic and electric as well as food processing industry, ” he said to a question from Tan Chen Choon (PH-Jementah) who asked if Johor would look into developing the renewable energy industry.

Chen Choon said that based on a study on renewable energy by the previous state government, the industry could create thousands of new job opportunities.

“We have learned from the study that the renewable energy industry can bring some RM30.3bil in investments and some 50,000 new jobs, ” he added.

On the upskilling and reskilling efforts, Izhar said there were 16 courses available for the people in Johor, especially those who had lost their jobs.

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