Dismal picture for the future of our elephants

Letter to Editor                                        14 June 2019

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) expresses shock at the recent deaths of three elephants at a plantation area of a village in Kampung Sri Timur 3, Kluang, Johor. They were believed to have been poisoned.  Their deaths paint a dismal picture for the future of our elephants.

With oil palm plantations encroaching from all sides into elephant habitats, along with logging and agriculture activities, this last decade has seen rapidly shrinking forests combined with destruction of forests and wildlife habitats as the main factors behind this escalating problem. 

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Punca Permasalahan Kesihatan Orang Asli Perlu Diatasi

Kenyataan Akhbar                                         12 Jun 2019

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) merasa amat sedih dengan kematian dan masalah kesihatan yang dihadapi oleh orang asli suku Bateq di Kampung Kuala Koh, Gua Musang, Kelantan. Malah amat mengejutkan setelah beberapa hari berlalu dan pihak berkuasa masih belum pasti penyebab sebenar kematian dan kemerosotan kesihatan dalam kalangan suku Bateq.

Sementara kami mengalu-alukan mesyuarat tergempar oleh Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Wan Azizah dalam memberikan perhatian khusus kepada isu itu dan dalam menyuarakan betapa perlunya tindakan menyeluruh, SAM berpandangan ia tidak cukup dengan hanya menangani isu kesihatan yang dihadapi oleh komuniti Orang Asli tetapi perlunya untuk menangani punca permasalahan sebenar yang membawa kepada kemerosotan kesihatan mereka.

Tindak balas menyeluruh diperlukan pihak berkuasa Negeri dan Persekutuan untuk mengakui akan kelemahan yang dihadapi oleh komuniti orang asli akibat daripada kemusnahan tanah mereka dan pencemaran sumber asli mereka dan alam sekitar di persekitaran mereka, termasuk sumber air mereka.

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Need To Tackle Root Causes Of Orang Asli Health Woes

Press Statment                                     June 12, 2019

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) is extremely saddened to learn about the deaths and ill health of the Bateq community members in Kampung Koh, Gua Musang, Kelantan. It is indeed shocking that days have gone by and the government authorities have yet to ascertain the actual cause of the deaths and the deterioration of health among the Bateq community. 

While we welcome the emergency meeting called on by the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Wan Azizah in giving special attention to the issue and in expressing the need for comprehensive action, SAM is of the view that it is not enough to just tackle the immediate health issues plaguing this Orang Asli community but there is urgent need to address the root causes that have led to the deterioration of their health.

A comprehensive response requires the Federal and State authorities to recognise the vulnerabilities faced by the indigenous communities as a result of the destruction of their land and the pollution of their natural resources and their surrounding environment, including their water resources.

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Lynas must remove its radioactive wastes from Malaysia

Letter to Editor                                       31 May 2019

The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) and Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) refer to Lynas’s announcement in the press (the Sun, May 29, 2019) by Professor Dr. Ismail Bahari, the General Manager of Lynas in charge of radiation safety and compliance that its wastes can be used as a fertiliser or soil conditioner (Condisoil). He said that the Water Leach Purification (WLP) ‘residue’ contains a very low level of radioactive material, equivalent to natural occurring levels. Hence, the waste produced need not go to waste and can provide the agriculture sector an alternative supply of nutrients essential for plants.

In February 2015, the Department of Environment approved Lynas’s proposal to construct a landfill within its premises to store its Neutralisation Underflow (NUF) waste which had been classified as scheduled waste. This approval required Lynas to submit an EIA to the DOE which it did on 15 February 2019.

NUF is historically categorised as radioactive waste materials under AELB. However, the Atomic Energy Licensing (Radioactive Waste Management) Regulations 2011 on P.U. (A) 274 gazetted on 16 August 2011 conveniently created new provisions which allowed the reuse and recycling of radioactive materials.

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CAP dan SAM Reda Hati Dengan Penjelasan Menteri MESTECC Berhubung Kenyataan Perdana Menteri Mengenai Kilang Lynas

Kenyataan Akhbar                                    31 Mei 2019

Persatuan Pengguna Pulau Pinang (CAP) dan Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) pada awalnya bimbang lanjutan daripada laporan di dalam media hari ini di mana Perdana Menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad berkata bahawa Malaysia akan membenarkan pengeluar nadir bumi Australia, Lynas Corp untuk meneruskan operasi kilang memproses nadir bumi di Gebeng, Pahang.

Kami kini reda hati selepas YB Yeo Bee Yin, Menteri Tenaga, Sains dan Teknologi, Alam Sekitar dan Perubahan Iklim (MESTECC) menjelaskan bahawa kilang nadir bumi Australia, Lynas Corp masih perlu menyelesaikan isu sisa radioaktif yang dihasilkan kilangnya di Pahang sebelum dibenarkan untuk terus beroperasi.

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CAP and SAM appeased by clarification by MESTECC Minister over Malaysian prime minister’s statement on Lynas plant

Press Statement                                     31 May 2019

The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) and Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) were initially gravely concerned over reports in the media today that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has said that Malaysia will allow Australian rare earths producer, Lynas Corp to keep operating its rare earths processing plant in Gebeng, Pahang.

We are now appeased after YB Yeo Bee Yin, Minister of Energy, Science and Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC) clarified that Australian rare earth refiner Lynas Corp will still have to resolve the issue of radioactive waste produced at its plant in Pahang before it is allowed to continue operations.

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Lynas should not be allowed to renege on its promises to the Government of Malaysia

Press Statment                                         30 May 2019

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) fully supports the statement issued by YB Wong Tack, MP for Bentong on 29 May 2019.

In his statement, Wong Tack mentioned that Andrew Goledzinowski’s, the Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia usage of the media to help Lynas get out of their earlier commitments to the Malaysian regulators on the removal on the radioactive waste as highly unethical and deplorable.

In December 2018, in a reply to Lynas workers, YB Yeoh Bee Yin, Minister of Energy, Science and Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC), said that Lynas Corporation Ltd., Australia (Lynas Australia) and Lynas Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. (Lynas Malaysia) had twice (through 2 letters in February and March 2012) undertaken to remove Lynas Advanced Materials Plan (LAMP) residue from Malaysia (https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/456020). Today, Lynas is backtracking from their own commitments and undertaking.

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Nasib nelayan Pulau Pinang bagaikan telur di hujung tanduk

Kenyataan Akbar                                      28 Mei 2018

Sumber : Facebook Nelayan Tanjung Tokong

Kenyataan Akbar                                      28 Mei 2019

Nasib lebih 5,000 nelayan pantai di seluruh Pulau Pinang kini bagaikan telur di hujung tanduk berikutan pelaksanaan serta perancangan projek penambakan laut dan kejadian pencemaran yang semakin serius berlaku di perairan negeri ini.

Walau pun masalah-masalah pencemaran dan pembangunan di persisiran pantai sudah sekian lama membelenggu kehidupan golongan nelayan namun ianya tidak mendapat perhatian sewajarnya sama ada dari kerajaan negeri mahu pun jabatan serta agensi yang terlibat.

Mengulas laporan akhbar tempatan (The Star 28 May 2019 ) berkaitan isu berkenaan, Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) memandang serius dan semakin bimbang kerana perairan Pulau Pinang bukan saja diancam oleh pencemaran sampah sarap, sisa buangan kilang, air kumbahan, lumpur dan najis babi tetapi juga bahan kimia yang meracuni dan membunuh hidupan laut serta berpotensi menjejas kesihatan awam.

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Penang’s fisheries & fisherfolk in jeopardy

Media Statement                                      28th May 2019

The fate of more than 5,000 fisherfolk in Penang is in critical condition following ongoing and proposed reclamation projects and the increasingly serious marine pollution problem in the state. 

Although the problems pervaded by pollution and coastal development have long plagued fisherfolk's livelihood but they have yet to receive proper attention either from the state government or the relevant departments and agencies. 

Commenting on the issue of pollution reported in The Star of 28 May 2019, Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) is very concerned because Penang's waters are not only threatened by pollution of solid waste, factory waste, sewage, mud and pig waste but also chemicals that are poisoning and killing marine life as well as potentially affecting public health.


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Tribute to a true Malaysian champion

S. M. Mohamed Idris was one of a kind.   He was a force of nature.   And in more ways than one.

His passing away on 17 May was the passing of an era.  I doubt we will be so fortunate to have someone like him again.  

He had such an incredible mind, with an insatiable thirst for information on all kinds of issues, from the most minute to the largest.  He could process and synthesise all that information and see the links between them. And then translate them into points for concrete actions and policies.

He put this intellect, creativity and knowledge of practical action into constant use, day after day, from his adolescence till the last day of his 93 years of life.   Family and friends told him to take it easy, especially in the last few months.  

But he could not.  He was driven by a burning passion to right the wrongs in the local community, the country, and the world.  He could not bear to read that children go hungry, when so much food is wasted.  

He would be incensed by the chopping of trees, whether in cities or on the hills and in forests.  He could not stand that Malaysians’ health was being threatened by unsafe food, occupational hazards, road accidents, polluted air…when all these could be prevented.

Most of all, he wanted ordinary people to stand up for their rights. “Complain!”  became one of the popular slogans of the Consumers’ Association of Penang, which he led for 50 years.   If you are cheated, if the house you just bought has holes or cracks in the wall; if your workplace is harming your health; if the forest in which you go hiking is being felled;  don’t just take it or grumble to yourself.  Make an official complaint, mobilise your friends and neighbours, assert your rights, and fight back!

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