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National Environment Council to be set up in Malaysia

By PIARAPAKARAN SUBRAMANIAN, Environment Desk Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations

NATURAL Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid intends to set up a council to study environmental issues. It is timely that all ministers, menteris besar and chief ministers will be on the council to sit together and talk about such issues.

The Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association believes that this will be a great achievement in the field of environment.

However, we urge the minister to ensure the council sets up committees to represent stakeholders like government agencies with environment-related responsibilities, consumer groups, industrial groups and non-governmental organizations dealing with environmental issues.

This will make for a good feedback mechanism from these stakeholders.

Eventually, this feedback can be studied at the national level and even be included in national action plans.

This council, with its stakeholder committees, should be ambitious and work out a 20-year action plan, with a review every five years.

This will allow Malaysia to set better targets in improving our environmental status to contribute to the global fight against environmental degradation.

We should also bear in mind that a lot of developing nations look to Malaysia as an example. We should set a good benchmark for them to follow.

We would like to suggest that the minister make public the decisions of the council and its committees' deliberations.

We need all Malaysians to play a part in preserving the environment. The future is in our hands.

Piarapakaran Subramaniam BEng (Hons), MIMI
Programme Manager (Environment Desk)
Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (FOMCA)