The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) is shocked and disappointed by the Melaka River pollution which has caused the death of thousands of fish due to poisoning in the river recently.
Soil is a finite, non-renewable resource, meaning its loss and degradation is not recoverable within a human lifespan. Hence the Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) is very concerned of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report that 33 percent of land is moderately to highly degraded due to erosion, salinization, compaction, acidification and chemical pollution of soils.
Soil degradation is caused by unsustainable land uses, management practices and climate extremes. FAO states that the natural area of productive soils is limited as it is under increasing pressure of intensification and competing uses for cropping, forestry, pasture/rangeland and urbanization, and to satisfy demands of the growing population for food and energy production and extraction of raw materials. The drivers of soil loss and degradation fail to recognize or simply ignore the fact that it can take up to 1,000 years to form one centimetre of soil.
The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) and Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) are disappointed with the Penang State Planning Committee (SPC) chaired by the Chief Minister for approving conversion of hill reserve land to residential zones. In addition to this the State has also announced several other massive projects. We view that the State is not respecting the sanctity of the hills and other natural resources in Penang by pushing for colossal development on the island.
The conversion of Bukit Relau or popularly known as “Botak Hill” due to its bald hill top is not the only gazetted Hill Land converted for housing development. Among others, there have been cases of conversion in Sungai Ara, Paya Terubong, Sungai Batu near Bayan Lepas and the hill range at Bukit Gambier has been similarly affected. Recently an assemblyman took the state government to task for approving a 51-storey high-rise project on a hillslope near the Tunku Abdul Rahman University College in Tanjung Bungah.
The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) and Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) cautions Malaysia not to be deceived by US introduction of the Fast Track Bill. Malaysia is reminded not to make further concessions in the TPP without fast-track authority actually being granted by both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.
The last technical round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement negotiations will be held next week in the USA. Malaysia is negotiating the TPP with 11 other countries including the USA and it is scheduled to be concluded at negotiations by Ministers of Trade next month.
CAP urges the state government and the City Council of Penang (MBPP) to give serious attention and take swift action to overcome the island’s garbage pollution problem.
CAP is dismayed that although there has been complaints among many locals and tourists regarding the garbage problem but the situation remains unchanged until now. Last year, the Penang state government had spent RM15.8 million to clean up the rivers in the state but to no avail.