‘Govt should set up environmental council’


IPOH: A state exco member has urged the Federal Government to set up a permanent council to tackle environmental issues.

Dr Abdul Aziz Bari, who heads the state Environmental Committee, said such a body could act as a liaison between the state and federal governments in handling such matters.

“It’s not necessary for the council to have the same status as the National Land Council.

“But it is necessary to have it to share information between the state and federal governments and for national policies or actions to be streamlined and implemented,” he said after attending a Hari Raya open house held by the Perak branch of the Society for the Blind in Malaysia yesterday.

Abdul Aziz said there was a need for the relevant state agencies to see what could be done on the matter.

“It is necessary so that all states can move forward together with none left behind. The council could be chaired by the Prime Minister or his deputy to give it more importance,” he said.

He said the general perception was that the state had the authority to act on environmental matters.

“But states do not have the expertise or funds to do so.

“State environmental departments have laws but lack ‘teeth’ and enforcement,” he said, adding that the Federal Government had more resources.

Abdul Aziz cited the Sungai Kim Kim toxic pollution incident when the Johor government relied on federal agencies to handle the issue.

“For example, we need the Federal Government to deal with other countries to bring in river cleaning technology,” he said.

Asked whether a new law to empower state environmental departments would help, Abdul Aziz said this was not the answer.

Dr Abdul Aziz Bari