By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 9.10.1991:
Selangor Mentri besar has made a complete mockery of the EIA Policy by approving the golf course and condominium project near Zoo Negara without waiting for approval from Department of Environment
The Selangor Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Muhammad Haji Muhammad Taib, and all Selangor State Exco Members have made a complete mockery of the Environmental Quality Act (EQA) 1974 and the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Policy by approving the golf course and condominium project near Zoo Negara without waiting for the approval of the Department of Environment (DOE)
Although the National Environment Policy was proclaimed since the Third Malaysia Plan in 1976, the state governments had never taken it or the National Policy of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) seriously in the past 15 years.
The Selangor State Government’s approval for the golf course and condominium project near Zoo Negara is an excellent case in point of a state government which only pays lip service to the importance of environmental protection, for the State Exco gave approval to the golf course and condominium project even without waiting either for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report or the approval of the Department of Environment.
The Selangor Mentri Besar and the State Government do not seem to understand the importance of the EIA policy, which seeks to avoid costly mistakes in project planning and development – mistakes which can be costly either because of environmental losses that result or costly because of the modifications that might be required subsequently to make the project environmentally acceptable to the country and community.
The Ministry of Science, Technologh and Environment, Law Heing Ding, has said that the Department of Environment received the EIA report for the golf course and condominium project near Zoo Negara in July, and the Department would be meeting to discuss the EIA later this month.
However, the Selangor Mentri Besar and State Exco have already given full approval to the project and Tan Sri Muhamad had repeatedly declared that the project would go on, despite widespread environmental protests – including from the Sultan of Selangor.
There is no point of Parliament passing the EQA and adopting the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Policy, if the Selangor Mentri Besar and Exco Members could violate them with impunity.
DAP will demand to know in the forthcoming meeting of Parliament which begins on Oct. 21 what action the Federal Government proposes to take to discipline and to bring into line state Mentri Besar who treat the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Policy and the Department of Environment (DOE) with utter contempt, as in the case of the golf course and condominium project near Zoo Negara.
If there is no need for the State Governments to wait for the approval of the DOE or to comply with the EIA Policy, before giving approval for development projects, then the EIA Policy and DOE might as well be scrapped altogether!
With such open defiance and violation of the National Environment Policy, the EIA Policy and the EQA, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, may have good reason to announce that Malaysia may boycott the Earth Summit to be held in Brazil Next year, for Malaysia may not be able to stand tall on her environmental record in such an international environmental conference.