Time for government to stop giving confusing statements about the Clean Air Action Plan


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): The time has come for the government to stop giving confusing statements about the Clean Air Action Plan - whether the Cabinet had approved such a plan, whether it is being implemented in stages, or whether it had been rejected by Cabinet when it was first proposed in 1994.

One commercial firm taking full advantage of the national haze disaster and the peopleís concern about its long-term health effects has taken a full-page advertisement for its product, highlighting the Star report of September 27, 1997, under the heading "Ministry to look at clean air action plan again", which said:

However, during the three-day Parliamentary debate on the national haze disaster, Parliament was told both by the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Datuk Law that the Clean Air Action Plan proposed to the Cabinet in 1994 was being "implemented in stages".

This is in clear contradiction to the earlier statement made by Law that the Clean Air Action Plan had been scrapped by Cabinet in 1994, and which is used as a full-page commercial advertisement in the local newspapers.

Law Hieng Ding should make a clear statement about the Clean Air Action Plan, firstly whether the Cabinetís decision in 1994 to reject it had been subsequently modified by the Cabinet to "implement it in stages".

Secondly, what is this Clean Air Action Plan which is being "implemented in stages".

Thirdly, why has this Clean Air Action Plan not been made public so that the Malaysian public in general and environmental groups in particular could give their inputs as to whether it is equal to the task of assuring clean air for Malaysians and to ensure that the 1997 haze would be the last worst haze in the country.

Fourthly, is the Clean Air Action Plan being "implemented in stages" a Plan for the Klang Valley or for the whole country.

The Department of Environment should be open, accountable and transparent about the Clean Air Action Plan and let Malaysians know how a Clean Air Action Plan rejected by the Cabinet in 1994 could be "implemented in stages" without anyone, whether Parliament or NGOs, knowing about it.

(14/10/97)


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong