Perak Ruler: Do more for the rivers

Royal attendance: Sultan Nazrin at the launch of the book titled ‘Tafsir Mawdu’i Sungai: Perspektif Islam Tentang Alam Sekitar’ by Prof Datuk Dr Zulkifli Mohd Yusoff and Datuk Dr Zaini Ujang at the Asia-Europe Institute in Universiti Malaya. — Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: New policies and approaches are needed to address weaknesses in river basin management and issues related to the sustainability of rivers, said Perak Ruler Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah.

Apart from learning from other countries which had succeeded in preserving their rivers, Sultan Nazrin said that a fresh, organised and more viable framework is needed as many people are still not aware of the need to preserve rivers despite various previous policies and programmes.

“River preservation means a framework for repairing and improving the quality of river water so that it is always clean and usable.

“River preservation is the responsibility of all parties, not a responsibility limited or specific to an agency or a non-governmental organisation.

“The responsibility of preserving the river needs to be highlighted in the form of environmentally-friendly living practices and a proactive attitude to contribute or be willing to pay the necessary costs,” said Sultan Nazrin when launching a book titled Tafsir Mawdu’i Sungai: Perspektif Islam Tentang Alam Sekitar here yesterday, reported Bernama.

The Ruler said that river preservation is cultural and geopolitical in nature and cannot be dealt with simply using the old framework that is rigid and segmented.

Sultan Nazrin added that a more humane approach needed to be taken to increase public awareness and willingness to preserve the environment.

“The society needs to realise that humans and the environment are closely related.

“If language symbolises the nation, the health level of the river ecosystem reflects the ‘heart’ of the local community. The beautiful flow of the river is closely related to the beautiful flow in the human heart.

“The hardware approach, which is science and technology, and the software, which is policies, laws and norms, are incomplete without the ‘heart-ware’ which is the heart, soul or humanity.

“The human soul needs to be whispered with awareness, the realisation that it is sinful to do acts that pollute the environment,” said the Sultan.

Based on the Environmental Quality Report 2021 of 670 rivers monitored in Malaysia, 489 of the rivers or 73% showed a clean water quality index, 24% (158 rivers) were moderately polluted and 3% (23 rivers) were polluted.

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