Tag Archives: environmental law

As Disasters Rise, Climate Change Act Clearly Needed

While its towns bear the consequences of extreme weather, experts and politicians push for a long-awaited climate bill to be signed into law.

MANY Malaysians remember the floods of December 2021, when roads turned to rivers, and homes were swept away or submerged by rising water. 

The disaster claimed 50 lives, at least 400,000 people had to be evacuated and financial losses were estimated at RM6.1 billion, according to a 2022 analysis by Serina Rahman, an environmental anthropologist.

Young Syefura Othman, the member of parliament for Bentong district in Pahang, recalls how three consecutive days of pelting rain inundated her constituency. The flooding happened “of course because of climate change,” she said.

(A man walks through floodwaters in Taman Sri Muda, Malaysia, December 2021  | Image: Alamy)


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?


The Environmental Rights To End Pollution

Are Malaysians fed up enough of river pollution to assert their environmental rights? Do they even know what these rights are?

ASTONISHINGLY, it happened again: Sungai Kim Kim in Johor was polluted once more in early March. And it happened smack on the second anniversary of the toxic waste disaster there that hospitalised 2,700 and cost RM6.4m to clean up.

While this recent episode was described by the Minister of Environment as “normal pollution” and not hazardous, it raises concerns and questions as to why any pollution has recurred. 

Johoreans are not the only ones wondering this. 

(Photo: The Barchats: Envirorights webinars on environmental rights drew 435 lawyers and members of the public. Facebook screenshot: Bar Council Committee on Environment and Climate Change)

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In Defence of Orang Asli Rights

[First published Sept 26, 2019; updated Jul 3, 2021]

On Sept 25, the court heard an injunction application to stop private entities from logging and farming in Temiar customary land in Kelantan. This is the latest hearing related to the first legal action taken by the Malaysian federal government on behalf of Orang Asli regarding land rights. SL Wong and Darshana Dinesh Kumar report.

CAN YOU imagine having to barricade your home to prevent its destruction? That is what forest-based indigenous communities in Sabah and Sarawak have had to resort to for almost 40 years.

In Peninsular Malaysia, the Temiar Orang Asli community were forced to do so for the first time in 2012. The Gua Musang, Kelantan, communities started setting up barricades after repeatedly failing to resolve land use conflicts with the state government, federal agencies and companies. 

(Photo: The Pos Simpor community at the July Kota Bharu High Court hearing of the Kelantan state government’s application to strike out the AG’s suit. Courtesy of Siti Kasim)

Continue reading In Defence of Orang Asli Rights