By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday, October 4, 1991:
Mahathir should call up Selangor Mentri Besar to direct him to comply with the environmental laws of the country
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, should call up the Selangor Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Muhammad Haji Muhammad Taib, to direct him to comply with the environmental laws of the country.
After the briefing held especially for the Sultan of Selangor at Istana Bukit Kayangan on Zoo Negara/golf course/condominium controversy, Tan Sri Muhammad stuck to his guns and declared that the golf course and condominium projects near Zoo Negara would go on, although with certain adjustments.
The question Tan Sri Muhammad cannot satisfy concerned Malaysians is why is the Selangor State Government so committed to the golf course and condominium projects when
1. the Environment Impart Assessment (EIA) report by a consultant, identified as Perunding Utama Sdn. Bhd., said the project would cause serious environmental damage to the Zoo and its surroundings; and
2. the Department of Environment (DOE) had not given its approval for the project as the DOE announced yesterday that it would only prepare its report later this month.
It is clear that as far as the Selangor Mentri Besar and the Selangor State Exco are concerned, the DOE and the environmental laws are worthless or do not exist – for otherwise, the Selangor State Government would not have given its final approval for the golf course and condominium projects even without waiting for the approval from the DOE.
The rational thing for the Selangor State Exco to do is to give preliminary approval for the golf course and condominium projects subject to the DOE – but in this case, full and final approval had been given by the State Exco regardless of the position of the DOE. Can the Selangor Mentri Besar explain the reason for such extraordinarily high-handed behaviour?
Selangor Mentri Besar will bring shame to Malaysia if one of the issues raised at the Earth Summit in Brazil next year is that Malaysia sacrifices her Zoo Negara to golf courses
This brings to mind the Sungai Buloh fireworks factory explosion disaster, which is the subject of a royal commission of inquiry, as the major cause of the Sungai Buloh fireworks factory disaster is the shocking revelation that government departments acted in utter disregard of the need to comply with other laws and regulations under the charge of other departments.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, had made a shocking announcement in the middle of August that Malaysia might boycott the Earth Summit in Brazil next year, giving the world the impression that Malaysia has a lot of things to hide with regard to its record on environmental issues.
The Selangor Mentri Besar will bring further shame to Malaysia if one of the issues to be raised in the Earth Summit next year is that Malaysia sacrifices her Zoo Negara to golf courses.
The Minister for Science, Technology and Environment, Law Hieng Ding, said Malaysia was launching an ‘offensive’ against developed countries on the environment issue. This ‘offensive’ will be stillborn if the Selangor State Government is allowed to show utter contempt and disregard to the DOE and the environmental laws, where the Zoo Negara must be sacrificed to golf courses and xondominiums.
Malaysia must attend the Earth Summit in Brazil to let the world know the environmental vision of Malaysia and the efforts the Federal and state governments are making to protect the environment.
But the first thing that must be resolved is the Zoo Negara/golf course/condominium controversy – for it would definitely cause considerable embarrassment to Malaysia at the Earth Summit if the national zoo must be sacrificed to profit-making golf-course developers, which also illustrate the impotence of the DOE and the environmental laws in the country.
For this reason, the DAP supports the call made by the Sultan of Selangor to revoke the approval given by the Selangor State Exco to the golf course and condominium projects to ensure the survival, protection and expansion of Zoo Negara.