Tiga Cerita Tentang Tanah dan air
TANAH AIR, gelaran bumi pertiwi dalam Bahasa Melayu, terdiri daripada perkataan ‘tanah’ dan ‘air’, masing-masing melambangkan tempat asal dan sumber. Tanah dan air menyumbang kepada kesinambungan manusia.
Di tanah air pula, kita saling bertaut dengan pelbagai cara: sebagai negara dan warganegara, melalui wadah nyata dan bayangan, dan di himpunan kolektif serta perkongsian dari individu ke individu.
Namun, hakikatnya kekal bahawa tanah dan air ditadbir oleh pihak berkuasa negara. Di kala bencana, ribut badai dan perubahan, adakah sistem tadbir urus kita cukup teguh?
Setiap keputusan yang diambil mengedepankan kepentingan siapa? Apa ciri yang berfungsi, dan apa pula yang menggagalkan?
Di 3 kisah yang dikongsi, Projek Khas ini meneliti bagaimana sistem tadbir urus di Malaysia meninggalkan impak ke atas manusia dan alam sekitar, selain isu dan tindakan yang berkenaan. Semua kisah berakhir dengan pertanyaan: adakah penyelesaian yang digunapakai berkesan?
TANAH AIR，在马来语中是指祖国，字面意思是 “土地 “和 “水”。我们在很多方面——作为一个国家和公民；通过实际和想象；集体和个人——都与这两者有联系。
但现实是，tanah 和 air 都由国家管理的。在这个充满灾难、动荡和变化的时代，我们的治理是否足够好？决策是为了谁的利益？哪些是有效的，哪些是无效的？
Three Stories on Land and Water
TANAH AIR, the word for homeland in Malay, literally means ‘land’ and ‘water’. We are bound to both in so many ways: as a nation and citizens, through the actual and imaginative, the collective and the personal.
But the reality is, tanah and air are governed by states. In these times of calamities, turbulence and change, is our governance good enough? Whose interests do decisions serve? What is working, what, not?
In 3 stories, this Special Project looks at how governance in Malaysia is impacting humans and nature, as well as the related concerns and actions. Ultimately, we ask: are our solutions real?
Pig farmers must install expensive wastewater treatment systems to curb environmental pollution. Add this to rising costs and diseases, and alarm bells ring about pork prices and supply. Part 2 of 2.
THERE ARE many ways an interview about pigs can begin. Wong Soon Ping of Kampung Selamat, Penang showed off a whole roast duck on a baking tray. Half of it was coated in truffle powder. “I’m trying a new recipe!”
It turns out roast ducks are a new product for Soon Ping, a third-generation pig farmer who had sold his pig farm in November 2021 and now processes and distributes pork. His village is one of the two pig farming areas in the state, notorious for decades-long river pollution.
(Photo: Farms that cannot afford to modernise operations call it a day | Pic by Lee Kwai Han)
Notorious for its river polluting pig farms, Penang is mandating its farms modernise or shut down. But pig farms might not be the only, or main polluters along the whole river. Will this mandate bring relief to the ecosystem and impacted communities? Part 1 of 2.
A STENCH drifts up the 5 metres from the river to the bridge where we are standing. A sour, nasty smell, it lingers even after we leave the site. A local says the smelly river water comes from Kampung Valdor.
Their wastewater has been tarred for impacting everything from paddy fields and fisheries to high-end residential areas. But change is in the air as pig farming legislation and regulations kick in, though it is unclear if they will actually solve river pollution.
(Photo: The polluted waterway from Kampung Selamat (right) flows into Sungai Kereh; note the healthy riverine vegetation, a sign of possible excessive nutrients | Pic by SL Wong)
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)
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)