KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) has for the first time in its 73-year history challenged politicians to declare their “green stand” in the upcoming general election.
Its president Prof Dr Maketab Mohamed said the society would encourage the public to support political parties and candidates who pledged to protect the environment by addressing weaknesses in the forest management system.
He said MNS had compiled 10 requests for change, including mandatory public consultation before degazettement or conversion of any forest reserve.
Other requests include calling for all clearing and logging within permanent forest reserves and state land forests to be carried out, with the consent of the local communities, as well as with the compliance of existing plans such as the National Physical Plan and the Central Forest Spine masterplan.
“We see that the forests, whether under Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat, are still being cleared. We want an environmental policy that will halt unsustainable development,” he told the media yesterday.
MNS executive director Mohamed Shah Redza Hussein said MNS would analyse the manifestos of each political party and the candidates at the federal and state levels and make its results known to the public.
“With 4,000 members, we managed to mobilise almost 90,000 signatures for our Belum-Temengor campaign within a short time. We speak with the voice of our grassroots supporters,” he said, adding that sustainable development and environmental conservation were important issues to voters today.
MNS conservation head Balu Perumal pointed out that every state had been troubled by environmental problems for decades.