Transboundary haze law still an option, says Nik Nazmi

PUTRAJAYA: Options remain open for Malaysia to have legislation to deal with transboundary haze but the law must be effective in dealing with this issue, says Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.

The Energy and Natural Resources Minister said it is important that Malaysia has a “meaningful legislation” to deal with transboundary haze and an in-depth study is needed to ensure the law is effective.

“All options are open but we must not do it just in a symbolic manner.

“The law has to be effective,” he told reporters after a townhall session with stakeholders on transboundary haze here yesterday.

Last month, Nik Nazmi was reported to have said that the government had decided not to table the proposed Transboundary Haze Act, which was aimed to take action against Malaysian companies or individuals that cause haze in the country, regardless of the location where the burning occurred.

He said the decision was made after taking into account feedback given by the Attorney General’s Chambers and legal experts’ views on difficulties in carrying out prosecution.

Nik Nazmi’s ministerial predecessor Yeo Bee Yin had then called on the government to consider introducing the Act, saying it would hold Malaysian companies or individuals accountable for causing haze due to open burning.

The Minister said the townhall session was among initiatives to get input and views from stakeholders on matters concerning transboundary haze.

“We will collect and present them to Parliament’s Special Select Committee on Environment as well as to the Cabinet to see how ideas we collated can be brought forward,” Nik Nazmi added.

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