PETALING JAYA: Setting up a trust fund where contributions can be used towards better protection of the environment is a good move, say environmentalists. However, it must have a comprehensive structure and guidelines to prevent misuse.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Ibrahim Komoo said the Kumpulan Wang Alam Sekitar, which is part of a new environment law proposed by the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry, is “an excellent idea.”
“Scope on collections and uses require more inputs from various stakeholders.
“For a start, its implementation should be innovative, including introduction of environmental cess funds,” said Dr Ibrahim when contacted.
He hoped that any new law introduced should be comprehensive and look beyond mere environmental pollution.
“It should take into account issues related to the ecosystem services and environmental conservation,” he added.
Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) president Professor Dr Ahmad Ismail said that any form of rules and regulations should be integrated, and not fragmented.
“We must understand the entire system, so it has to be comprehensive and not segregated.
“For example, in an area, you need to look at the source of the pollution, the industry there, how much problem has been created, the types of pollutant and gases released, etc.
“After understanding all of these, then there must be rules and regulations,” he added.
Dr Ahmad also welcomed the idea of the Kumpulan Wang Alam Sekitar. He, however, stressed that its management should be pivotal.
“Any funding is good to help the government but you must look at how or where the money is going, the sources, how it is used.
“There must be proper structure and procedures,” he added.
Under the proposed law, it was suggested that monies under the fund – to be placed under the Federal Consolidated Fund – will be made up of government allocations, overseas and local donations, and all fees and payments received by the Department of Environment (DOE) director-general from the cess levied.
Monies from the fund, among others, is to be used to pay informers, carry out and promote research, recycle, reduce and counter pollution and to encourage restoration from any damage.
Did you find this article insightful?