'Don't Destroy Nature For Greed'

NST, Mar 29, 2022

The obsession with infrastucture development and profit cannot justify destroying the environment, Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah said.

"Lately, natural disasters that have been occurring with increasing frequency should be regarded as a divine censure of our misbehaviour, turning nature against us.

"The world now faces numerous catastrophes, (resulting in) loss of life and property.

"Technological advancement alone cannot rein in disasters resulting from enviromental devastation at the hand of man," he said when opening the first meeting of the fifth year of the 14th Perak assembly in Bangunan Perak Darul Ridzuan here, yesterday. Present were his consort, Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Zara Salim, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad and state executive councillors.

Sultan Nazrin said national growth and development must be tempered with respect and love for the environment, so that man and nature could co-exist.

He said Malaysians lacked awareness and were indifferent to the hazards of plastic pollution that could poison food and the environment.

Sultan Nazrin said Malaysia ranked second in Asia for the use of plastics, at 69.54kg per capita.

"On average, Malaysians use 300 plastic bags per year and discard more than 30,000 tonnes of plastic into the sea every year. This has earned Malaysia a place on the global list of ocean plastic polluters.

"Plastic debris that ends up in the water or on land take up to 400 years to decompose.

"Houses of worship, schools, non-governmental organisations and youths should help educate the public to refrain from or reduce the use of plastic and avoid discarding plastic waste into bodies of water or leave it to decompose on the ground," he said.

Sultan Nazrin said the survival of the Malayan tiger must also be ensured. 

"Based on research, the forest reserves of Perak are important habitats of this animal, whose numbers have dwindled to a frighteningly low figure of 37 (30 adult tigers with 7 cubs) in the wild. This number is extremely small considering the available area is capable of sustaining around 200 tigers.

"To help Malayan tiger conservation efforts, the state has gazetted 18,866 ha as the Amanjaya Permanent Forest Reserve."