COMMENT | Prominent human rights activist Firdaus Husni recently tweeted: “Why are we making a big brother out of one country and taking the trash back from another?”
This is a perplexing question indeed.
Let’s start with the matter of accepting a container full of plastic trash from America.
On March 20, it was reported: “Malaysia will be detaining a container from Los Angeles, US, suspected to be carrying commercial plastic waste when it arrives at Port Klang on Monday (March 22).
"Environment and Water Minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man in a statement said the Department of Environment (DOE) had received the information from Sahabat Alam Malaysia on March 12 that a container from Los Angeles is believed to be containing plastic waste.
"He said DOE, the authority in the control of cross-border plastic waste under the Basel Convention which came into effect on Jan 1, found there were no applications for the import of plastic waste received from the exporting country.”
Only one week later, on March 31, the environment minister appears to have reversed this position completely: “Tuan Ibrahim said on Tuesday that the US shipment, which arrived on Saturday and had been thought to be hazardous, was found to be clean, homogenous polyethene waste, as required under its import licence.
"The DOE confirms that the plastic waste is in compliance with the criteria of B3011 Basel Convention," he said in a statement.
The only words that come to my mind are “highly...