Category Archives: Insight

Short features 500-1200 words

When’s a Buffer Not a Buffer?

How far should a wastepaper recycling factory be away from schools and houses? Banting residents and lawmakers disagree. In this second of two stories, Aurora Tin reports arguments from both sides of the fence.

In Banting, Selangor, the students at a religious primary school recite their prayers just tens of meters away from the grey walls of a huge wastepaper recycling factory. Tall chimneys behind the walls emit gasses day and night.

The factory, owned by Best Eternity Recycle Technology Sdn Bhd (BERT), has a record of breaching regulations: it was fined at least four times by the Department of Environment (DOE) and Kuala Langat Municipal Council (MPKL) in the last 3 years.

Residents concerned about potential health and environmental damage have been protesting the factory. They argue that the approval of a heavy industrial plant so close to schools and residences had breached buffer zone regulations.

(Photo: An illustration showing various distances between school and residences and the BERT facility. | Pic by Long Long)

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Living Next to a Paper Recycling Behemoth

The Best Eternity Recycle Technology Sdn Bhd paper recycling facility brings jobs and investment to Kuala Langat, but also health concerns for the communities. In this first of two stories, Aurora Tin reports on the facility’s economic values and potential impact.

Suhaizam Mohd Kassim, or Zam for short, is the third generation of his family to live in Taman Periang, Banting, about 45 km west of Kuala Lumpur. He was among the first cohort of students at a local religious primary school his grandfather helped build. Decades later, Zam enrolled his children at the same school too.

Behind that school is a patch of government land where locals grow fruit trees and vegetables. Past the trees are high grey walls, behind which rose chimneys and buildings with green roofs. The construction of the facility started in 2019. It emitted pungent odours and disturbing noises, but residents had little idea what it produced.

(Photo: Residents living next to the BERT paper recycling facility, whose twin chimneys can be seen from a nearby playground, are worried about potential health impact from the operations. | Pic by Irene Yap)

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Lagi Satu Ladang Kelapa Sawit di Endau, Johor

Syarikat AA Sawit Sdn Bhd ingin membangunkan ladang kelapa sawit and kelapa seluas 3,775 ha di Endau, Johor. Ia telah menyerahkan laporan penilaian kesan kepada alam sekitar (EIA) kepada Jabatan Alam Sekitar pada bulan Jun/Julai 2022.

Mengikut Akta Kualiti Alam Sekeliling 1974, sesuatu projek sebesar ini wajib mendapat kelulusan laporan EIA daripada Jabatan Alam Sekitar sebelum ia boleh bermula.

Namun, imej satelit memberi gambaran yang bertentangan: Pada 2020 dan 2021, pengusaha telah menebang hutan di tapak dan menggali parit pengairan.

Tambahan pula, pembangunan ladang kelapa sawit sudah menyebabkan pelbagai masalah alam sekitar. Namun, adakah  penduduk Kampung Labong di sebelah tapak projek AA Sawit mampu menolak ladang-ladang besar yang akan datang?

 

为马来西亚美丽但濒危的珊瑚建造方舟

氣溫升高預期將摧毀珊瑚礁,科學家急於提出對策。这是 “亚洲水危机” 联合项目的部分报道; 英文原文林玠均翻译。

 

珊瑚礁生态学家阿芬迪 (Affendi Yang Amri) 在他长达27年的职业生涯中,一直很讨厌“珊瑚复育”这个概念。

因为他担心,如果大家认为珊瑚是可“修复”的,就会让机会主义者继续破坏性的沿海工程。他更想要保护现有的珊瑚,而非修复受损的珊瑚。

然而2018年,联合国政府间气候变化专门委员会 (IPCC) 的科学家警告,全球珊瑚即将崩溃。

(馬來西亞登嘉樓浪中島 (Lang Tengah Island) 夏季海灣的環礁. | 摄影: KL Chew)

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Building Arks for Corals

Scientists scramble as rising sea temperatures are expected to decimate coral reefs.  A story in the Asia’s Water Crisis project.

CORAL REEF ecologist Affendi Yang Amri had hated the idea of coral restoration for most of his 27-year career.

Wary that opportunists would ramp up destructive coastal works if corals could be “restored” elsewhere later, he preferred protecting existing corals rather than fixing damaged ones.

But in 2018, scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned of an imminent coral collapse worldwide. 

(Summer Bay House Reef at Lang Tengah Island, Terengganu. | Photo: KL Chew)

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An End To the Culture of Eating Turtle Eggs

Eating turtle eggs in Terengganu is often attributed to culture. But fears it could jeopardise the trade ban on June 1 might be unfounded.

MANN THE turtle sanctuary ranger suddenly raises his finger and points at the ocean blue. “There are turtles mating,” he says. I follow his line of sight to two turtles in a tight embrace and bobbing on the surface of the water.

My heart leaps and I hope for the best. Maybe the female will survive to lay her eggs here at the sanctuary. Maybe those eggs will hatch, like many have before. After all, this is the Chagar Hutang Turtle Sanctuary on Redang Island, Terengganu’s most productive sea turtle nesting grounds.

(The ban on the sale of turtle eggs in Terengganu targets traders. | Photo: Bryan Yong)

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Bila Kawanan Burung Berkunjung ke Teluk Borneo

Bilangan burung pantai hijrah semakin meningkat di Teluk Bako-Buntal di Sarawak. Tetapi trend itu mungkin mencerminkan masalah di tempat lain. Diterjemahkan oleh Noorainie Awang Anak.

[Read story in English | 点击阅读中文版]

AIR PASANG datang dengan cepat. “Anda perlu bergerak, bergerak, bergerak,” kata Rose Au. “Dalam beberapa minit, ianya sampai ke paras lutut anda!” Di tambah pula dengan bahaya terbenam dalam lumpur atau terserempak dengan buaya, usaha mengira burung tidak lekang dari keadaan yang mendebarkan.

Au dan beberapa pemerhati burung amatur Persatuan Pencinta Alam Malaysia Cawangan Kuching (MNS) di Sarawak, telah mengharungi berbagai rintangan sejak 16 tahun yang lalu. Matlamat mereka: untuk mengira beribu-ribu burung pantai yang datang ke Sarawak setiap tahun dalam perjalanan ke selatan dari tempat pembiakan mereka di Siberia.

(Mengira burung pantai di Teluk Bako-Buntal, Sarawak. Burung singgah di teluk setiap tahun dalam perjalanan dari Siberia. | Imej: Batrisyia Teepol/MNS)

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City Farms Growing Resilience

Leadership, training and support help overcome challenges in community farming in Kuala Lumpur’s public housing, sowing success.

WITH FOOD prices ever increasing, community farming for food security among lower income city-dwellers is ever more critical. The pandemic saw the media trumpeting the importance of such programmes.

However, as long as 5 years ago in 2017, the local government in Kuala Lumpur started encouraging the residents of both the Public Housing (PA) and the People’s Housing Programme (PPR) to be involved in community farming. And the programme has sowed some success.

(Photo: Successful community farming projects yield healthy home-grown vegetables that feed all the farmers and their families  | Image by Tan Kai Ren)

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