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.Read more
Over the last three decades, the top plastic waste exporters, including the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom, sent abroad plastic waste weighting about 168 million tonnes, most of it to China. In 2018, China said “enough is enough,” and announced a ban on imports of plastic waste, setting off a crisis in the global waste system. The majority of this plastic was then redirected into Southeast Asia, with Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia being flooded with waste, at great environmental and human cost.
However, from local clean-up crews and campaigns to global action, a powerful movement to break free from plastics is making change in 2019.
International Agreement to Clean up Waste Trade
This week at the United Nations, over 180 countries took a major step forward in curbing the plastic waste crisis by adding plastic to the Basel Convention, a treaty that controls the movement of hazardous waste from one country to another. This change means exporters will be required to get consent from receiving countries before shipping most contaminated, mixed, or unrecyclable plastic waste, providing an powerful way for countries in the Global South to stop the dumping of unwanted plastic waste into their country.Read more
Press Statement 19 March 2019
Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) urges the Penang government, Department of Environment (DOE) and the Marine Department to conduct investigation and take immediate action to overcome the mud waste pollution at the waters off Teluk Bahang.
The problem which has been going on for the past one year has escalated recently and threatens the livelihood of more than 200 inshore fishermen in the surrounding area.
In a survey conducted by SAM, the affected fishermen informed us that the cause of the pollution is believed to be from vessels/barges containing mud waste or sludge, disposing the waste on their way from the reclamation site at Gurney Drive to Pulau Kendi.Read more
dirty river in Batu Maung Picture : SAM
Media Statement 17 January 2019
Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) urges the Penang Island City Council (MBPP), Department of Environment (DOE) and Department of Irrigation and Drainage (JPS) to investigate and take immediate action to overcome residual waste pollution problem in drains near Batu Maung here.
Investigations made by SAM shows that the condition of the area is very disgusting and has foul smell. Drains here are not only filled with variety of residual waste including plastic but also the water in it is of dark black colour and is foamy.
Near the channel at the side of the drain, reddish fluid spots are visible and it is very dubious and worrying is it contains harmful substance.
SAM believes that is the drain is not clean and the act of throwing residual waste carries on, pollution problems in this area will spread especially during rain where all the waste will be carried by the current to the sea.
Concerns are more if the residual waste contains toxic substance causing more harm to the environment, human life and sea life in the coming future.Read more
SAM hopes that the penang state government and authorties are serious in resolving pig waste pollution
Two pig farms operating in Gertak Sanggul Picture : SAM
Media Statement 19 September 2018
Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) urges the Penang state government to seriously take action against two pig farms operating in Gertak Sanggul in the southwestern part of the island. The farms were allegedly releasing untreated pig waste into the sea. Immediate action is needed so that residents, fishermen and the public who often visit the area are assured that the State Government had taken action to address this long-standing problem.
Over the years SAM had lodged complaints regarding the pollution numerous times to the relevant authorities including the Penang State Government, Penang Island City Council (MBPP), Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID), Department of Environment (DOE) and Veterinary Services Department but the problem still remains unresolved as if the authorities did not take effective actions to resolve the pollution problem.Read more
The Pollution Condition Swimming Prawn Farm in Balik Pulau, Penang Picture: SAM
Media Statement 22nd March 2017
Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) urges the Penang state government and relevant authorities to pay serious attention and take effective measures to overcome the pollution from domestic sewage and waste from shrimp farms that are increasingly spreading in Kuala Sungai Pinang, Balik Pulau.
The pollution problem that has persisted for more than ten years involves the drainage system, the coastal area and the surrounding sea, affecting the lives and livelihood of 5,000 persons and fishers that have to bear with stench and dwindling catch.Read more
A resident is showing the drain in Kebun Kuyung that has been polluted by the factory waste - SAM picture
Press Statement 15 August 2016
Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) urges the Penang state government and Department of Environment (DOE) to take urgent action to curb industrial waste pollution in Kebun Kuyung, near Nibong Tebal in Seberang Perai Selatan district.
There are three factories operating in Kebun Kuyung. The pollution that has been persisting since 10 years ago is not only causing a stink and turning the drain water in this area black but also polluting the nearby Sungai Kerian.Read more
The Sun Daily May 22, 2016
JERANTUT: Sungai Pahang may most probably lose its historical standing as the longest river in the Peninsula if the authorities do not take firmer measures to address the issue of rampant encroachment of the forest area in Ulu Tembeling. Click to read