“Amend the Environmental Quality Act 1974 and the Environmental Quality(Prescribed Activities) (Environmental Impact Assessment) Order 1987 to comply with International Environmental Standard”
18 Oct 2010
I refer you to the press statement by a senior officer at the Department of Environmental (DOE) stating that the Environmental Impact Assessment report is not required for the proposed cable car project at Bukit Larut(“EIA not Needed for Cable Car Project“, NST-18 Oct 2010, at page 14).
Whether a project requires an EIA report depends wholly on the conditions/stipulations as prescribed under the Environmental Quality(Prescribed Activities) (Environmental Impact Assessment) Order 1987. This revolves around the technical findings of the Department of Environment.
Taking into view the particular nature of the cable car project and the environmental landscape of Bukit Larut, it is the writer’s humble submission that an EIA report is required.
In any event taking into account the peculiar circumstances of this case, the writer further wishes to propose to the government to undertake an amendment to the Environmental Quality Act 1974 specifically to the Environmental Quality(Prescribed Activities) (Environmental Impact Assessment) Order 1987 so as to require the submission of a Preliminary EIA as a minimum standard for all hill slope project in Malaysia.
International environmental activism calls for a strong environmental preservation framework. This is prevalent in the EU region and the neighbouring Scandinavian jurisdictions.
The Environmental Quality(Prescribed Activities) (Environmental Impact Assessment) Order 1987 has been enforced since 1987. It is time for an overhaul t o ensure compliance with contemporary international environmental standard.
It is perhaps time for the government, Parliament and the AG Office to include a revamp on the current EIA requirement in the on-going legislative revamp of laws (undertaken by the present AG Office).
The recent call by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak advocating Economic Transformation progress must surely include a paradigm shift in Environmental Transformation Achievement as part of its equation given the symbiotic relationship between economic progress and international environmental compliance.
Jeong Chun phuoc
and an advocate in Strategic Environment and Taxation Intelligence(SETI)
He can be contacted at Jeongphu@yahoo.com