Putrajaya to return environmental autonomy to S’wak, says Premier

Posted on 06 Mar 2024
Source of News: Borneo Post

by Peter Boon

Abang Johari said the federal government is returning environmental autonomy to Sarawak. — Bernama photo

SIBU (March 5): Sarawak will have absolute power in managing its environment following another success in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) negotiations with the federal government, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said the federal government is giving back environmental autonomy to Sarawak.

“In our MA63 negotiation with the federal government, we are going to have absolute control on environment as far as Sarawak is concerned – meaning, we manage our own environment,” he said when witnessing the exchange of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Malaysia LNG Sdn Bhd, Sarawak Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB), Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) and officiating the Sungai Plan restoration programme in Bintulu today.

Earlier, he mentioned that in Sarawak, several laws had been amended with the aim of preserving the environment, including those related to gas, carbon trading and preservation of natural resources.

“I hope what the state government has done will help cool down the climate we are facing today,” he said.

He pointed out Sarawak had taken bold steps to find solutions to the challenges posed by climate change.

“That is why under the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS), we came up with a strategy of taking into consideration Sarawak’s ecosystem when developing the state,” he said.

Additionally, Abang Johari said the topic of waste management had been brought up in an earlier meeting with the BDA.

“Many people said to make use of landfills, but I don’t believe in landfills because you don’t know the chemical content of your waste that can disturb your soil. Secondly, if placing incinerators, you need a lot of investment. Between these two options, I think technology is better than simple waste management.

“So I asked the BDA board to look at that option particularly – so you have to know what is the volume of your waste and what sort of technology you can use. Even if the cost is big, maybe the next generation of incinerators could be small. I feel we have to use the latest technology for us to tackle the problems we are facing now,” he said.

Among those present were Petronas upstream business Malaysia assets president Hasliza Othman; Deputy Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datuk Len Talif Salleh and BDA deputy chairman Dato Haidar Khan Asghar Khan.

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