The Rawang electorate did not hope for an incinerator when they voted PH

WHILE former Selangor executive council (EXCO) member Datuk Teng Chang Khim may have the cheek to criticise his colleagues in Pakatan Harapan (PH), the table may turn around on him.

The former Bandar Baru Klang state assemblyman chided both Selayang MP William Leong Jee Keen and Rawang state assemblyman Chua Wei Kiat for being “people’s heroes” when they are duty-bound to voice the objections by Rawang residents to Teng’s Batu Arang incinerator project in the state.

The state constituency of Rawang whose state assemblyman is Chua is under the Selayang parliamentary seat won by Leong for a third term.

The DAP veteran’s mockery of the duo has already attracted ostracism from Rawang folks when he claimed that the two lawmakers’ knowledge of technology and public service “remained stuck in the 1970s”.

One netizen Charlie Gan claimed that despite having four EXCOs and a speaker from DAP in Selangor, “they have become like MCA (in the past)”.

Another netizen, Alvin Lai wrote: “Dato’, talk is cheap, have some sense of sympathy to the residents staying nearby. When we spent our lifetime saving bought a house here & knowing sooner or later every day we will be greeted by hundreds of garbage trucks passing by, how do you feel?😡😡😡😤😤😤.”

Although calling them “people’s heroes” can turn out to be a compliment for both Leong and Chua, it will certainly not go down well with Rawang folks who are against the incineration project.

Leong told FocusM that he will be issuing a press statement soon in response to Teng’s remarks on Facebook.

Bad solid waste management in Selangor

Selangor under its Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shaari and former state EXCO in-charge of local government, public transport and new village development Ng Zhe Han had during the 2018-2023 term failed to deal with some 10,000 tonnes municipal solid waste generated on a daily basis.

Separation of wastes at source has never been practised in the state. Unlike Penang, Selangor’s failure to provide proper bins for every household is also one reason why illegal dumps have become an eyesore to the state.

The state’s initiatives in the past to ban plastic bags and Styrofoam food boxes, has turned out to be a farce as there are no efforts to control and manage the production of plastics and Styrofoam packaging used for both processed food and seafood. Some of the Styrofoam boxes end up in illegal dumps.

The World Bank has warned that “if waste management systems are not properly addressed, global waste may increase by 70% to 3.40 billion tonnes in 2050 (2016: 2.01 billion tonnes)” (25.4%).

The Department of Statistics Malaysia’s (DOSM) Environment Statistics 2020 found that Selangor reported the highest number of scheduled waste at 1.02 million tonnes in 2019 (25.4%).

The study also found that “good waste management systems are critical to build a circular economy where products are recycled and in turn will promote a more sustainable environment”.

But how much of this advice is heeded by the Selangor State EXCO? In trying to find a quick solution, are they like Teng now turning a deaf ear to protest by the people and pushing forward the incinerator project?

According to Statista, Japan exported approximately 178.72 million kilograms of plastic waste to Malaysia. “If Japan claims that its incinerator technology is good, why they are exporting their ‘rubbish’ to Malaysia?” asked activist Dr C.S. Tan.

Pic credit: Sinar Daily

Instead of recycling its own plastic wastes, Malaysia has become the largest “dumping ground” for plastic waste exports from Japan. This simply does not make sense at all.

Although recyclables are separated before incineration, it should be done at source. For this reason, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) concurred that “33% of the world’s municipal solid waste (MSW) is not adequately managed in an environmentally safe manner”.

Teng is already out of politics while Ng Sze Han has moved to a new portfolio. The ball is now in the court of new state EXCO Ng Suee Lim to do a good job managing the solid waste.

For the record, the Sekinchan state assemblyman is credited for his promotion of Sekinchan as a tourist destination in Selangor but the maintenance of the beach cleanliness still needs attention. – Aug 25, 2023

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