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Enforcement, the media and the air and water we consume

LETTER | We see and hear about pollution on a daily basis. The media reports about worsening air quality and the frequency of water disruptions resulting from contaminated water sources are alarming.

Yet what is being done about enforcement? Who are the parties responsible to ensure enforcement when it comes to the air we breathe and the water we drink? Is the transport ministry, Department of Environment, or Road Transport Department that is tasked to ensure vehicle emissions regulations are being complied with? Are the standards for vehicle emissions suitable? What is the data in regards to people charged with air and water pollution?

These are questions that would be helpful for journalists and the media to ask and educate the public with, instead of just reporting that there is pollution. We should know if our government departments are doing their job, that will, in turn, put the spotlight on whoever is responsible to buck up.

It would also be helpful to the public if they are empowered to know where to report any particular transgression to help with enforcement, instead of just being angry at "the government" in general.

Much has been said about transboundary haze when forest fires burn in Indonesia. However, air quality is still bad even without the haze. After all, how often do we see vehicles emitting black plumes of smoke on the road blatantly? How is it that such vehicles can roam freely on our roads?

These are not transboundary issues that require complicated diplomatic handling. From reckless drivers to polluters, people continue to behave irresponsibly when they think they can get away with it. Enforcement is severely lacking in Malaysia, and it is time we put the spotlight on this.

Instead of harping on sensational news, the people and media must demand answers on what is being done to enforce rules and regulations in regards to the pollution that affects our lives on a daily basis.

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