STOP LYNAS

STOP LYNAS

Saturday, September 19, 2009

WOW! MALAYSIANS JOIN GLOBAL EFFORT FOR CLIMATE CHANGE

I was very heartened to see that Malaysians are joining this Avaaz event.  Check this out to find out what's planned for KL, Penang and Klang.

JOIN THE GLOBAL CLIMATE WAKE-UP CALL!

On September 21st, thousands of us are getting together in public places across the world to hold "wake-up call" events pressing our leaders to take urgent action on climate.

Global leaders have only three months to get their act together and sign a strong Climate Treaty in Copenhagen. With all kinds of events in 5 continents organised by Avaaz and our partners in the campaign, we will show our leaders that our movement is massive and unstoppable.

Click below to look at our global map and find events near you. Sign up to attend an event and invite your friends to join!

READ MORE! »

Friday, September 18, 2009

MOUNTAINS OUT OF MOLEHILLS


Even though district councilor Chua Yee Ling and some Majlis Daerah Hulu Selangor enforcement officers ordered the road project stopped two days ago, Mr. Tan's workers were still going flat out today. I’m glad they didn’t just walk off the site. At least they’ve put down several layers of stone chips, otherwise the whole place would be awash with mud as it’s been raining a lot this week.

Some people may think I’m making a mountain out of a molehill about the illegal road in Kg. Pertak, but the reason I am making a fuss about it is because the road is being constructed with no regard for the environment. I’m not opposed to the road per se, in fact as far as I’m concerned, it’s Orang Asli land so it’s their decision and if someone wants to build them a road I say, why not? so long as you do it properly.

The problem of course is that it’s turned into a game of political one-upmanship with the Selangor state government left in the unenviable position of having to put a halt to the project (because strictly speaking it’s illegal) and at the same time alienate the Orang Asli big time. After all, who do you think they’ll vote for at the next election, the ones who offered them the road or the ones who stopped it?

If this road was intended as a sincere gift to the Asli then why didn’t the developers apply for a permit from the state government? The Pakatan state government would be pretty dumb to refuse, knowing how unpopular that would make them with the Asli and if the road was legal, the state government could have insisted that it was built properly and that the environmental impact was minimal.

As it is, there are now several trees in danger of falling because the slopes, that their roots were helping to stabilize, have been undermined. So be prepared for lots of road closures. I wonder whose going to be responsible for maintenance?

To make matters worse, mounds of earth, rocks and organic debris have been dumped along the riverside edge pretty much along the whole length of the road. Some of this has already found its way into the river and it’s only a matter of time before the rest follows. This river flows directly into the Selangor Dam reservoir, which supplies drinking water to KL. It’s already heavily silted up after only 8 years in operation so this extra load won’t be welcome.



Then, to cap it all, numerous small streams intersected the original trail that they have widened into the new road. In fact the trail often resembled a small river during heavy rainfall. As the road is being constructed without any proper drainage, I don’t see how any surface they apply could survive for very long with streams flowing under it.

So while this political myopia continues the environmental damage continues apace and very few people seem to be concerned about it. They have retreated to their political corners for a face-off.  I hope that some form of sanity prevails and that whoever is behind the construction offers an apology to the state government for disrespecting their authority and retrospectively applies for a permit. Then I hope that the state government accepts the apology and gives a permit but insists the road is built properly. These simple steps would turn a negative situation into a positive one. The Asli would get their road and it would be properly constructed to minimize environmental impact. Both BN and PKR would emerge as heroes; BN for paying for it and PKR for allowing it to be built…yes I know, pure fantasy, but I live in hope!

Of course if the Orang Asli had legal rights to their ancestral lands none of this would have happened in the first place but that’s a different story…




Tuesday, September 15, 2009

THE CONTINUING SAGA OF THE ROAD TO NOWHERE

The Road to Nowhere saga started on September 4, 2009. You can catch up on the story so far here.

SEPTEMBER 14, 2009 – KG. PERTAK

Mr Tan’s workers were back again today to finally remove the fallen tree that has been blocking the ‘new road’ for more than a week now. They dumped all the debris on the river-facing slope and when I caught up with them they were busy extending the road they had stared on September 4th… the one that the Selangor State government says is illegal… so I asked to see their permit and the excavator driver proudly produced a photocopy of one to show me – he even held it up so I could photograph it. Here it is:


When contacted, district councillor Chua Yee Ling said she had personally checked with the land office in KKB and it had no record of any permit issued to develop this road. The forestry department and the water authority are also in the dark, which is strange considering this area is part of the catchment area for the Selangor Dam. So, Yee Ling told me, as far as the Selangor State government is concerned, the operation is illegal.

The permit is from the ICU in the PM's department. It's addressed to an UMNO member residing in the nearby town of KKB and is signed on behalf of the state development office as you can see below:


So what's going on? First of all, I'm suspicious of the document's authenticity. Take a close look at the top right hand corner... you can almost see the Tipp-Ex!



Secondly, if the permit is for real, then it looks as though UMNO are putting the proverbial two fingers up to the elected state government and are attempting to undermine the authority of elected state exco member for the environment, Elizabeth Wong.

Why else would the PM's department, or UMNO for that matter, take an interest in constructing an access road for a small handful of indigenous people? And if they are genuine, then why didn't they go through the proper channels and seek approval from the state government, the forestry department and the water authority? And why is the road so wide? It's supposed to be an access road to the Orang Asli's dusuns. And why aren't they putting in any drainage? Don't they want it to last?

I really hope the Selangor state government can get to the bottom of this. Otherwise a chunk of the environment is going to get destroyed - and for what? The area is already prone to landslips, and with no proper drainage and no strengthening of the slopes, I'd estimate that the kind of road they are constructing will last 2-3 months tops.

Oh, by the way, how much is all this costing?



Debris from the tree fall dumped on the riverside slope.

Illegal road works ahead!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Renewable energy



An excerpt from an astonishing movie by Peter Joseph that features industrial and social designer Jacque Fresco, who created The Venus Project.

To view the full movie go to www.zeitgeistmovie.com

Sungai Makao



Video footage featuring the Chiling, Luit and Selangor rivers in Ulu Selangor, Malaysia edited to the song 'Sungai Makao' by Akar Umbi. This video officially launches the Ecowarriorz blogspot and is my personal tribute to Mak Minah who was a true guardian of the environment and an inspiration to many.