Malaysiakini News

Plastic politics

Stephen Ng  |  Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT Some Malaysian politicians are just bankrupt of ideas that even a ban on plastic bags and polystyrene packaging can be politicised.

Many of us who are ‘greenies’ would agree that the time has come for a turnaround, especially when Malaysians have a habit of littering all over the place.

Polystyrene boxes used for takeaway are thrown all over the place. It will take decades before polystyrene decays. The same with plastics that are just as harmful to the environment.

Along with it, there is then the need to introduce high-end incineration technology to solve the problem of solid wastes. The vicious cycle has been going on for years, but there is no political will to impose a ban on both plastics and polystyrene packaging or to enforce the segregation of wastes.

Instead, what we see is that, when the Selangor state government implemented the ‘no plastics’ policy, politicians make the biggest noise.


For example, in my last article, I said that Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Noh Omar was barking at the wrong tree when he alammed the Selangor government for allowing retailers to sell plastic bags at 20 sen apiece.

Noh had apparently not done his homework, as the negotiation was done between hypermarkets and the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry. Selangor state exco member Elizabeth Wong’s policy officer, Adrian Yeo, was prepared to point it out to the minister. What a shame!

Facebook account holder Metafora Anafora also highlighted an Umno woman member allegedly from Kota Raja saying that she is very angry having to pay 20 sen for a plastic. Apparently, this lady has never travelled overseas to the more advanced countries in Asia.

It is no use living under the coconut shell and trying to become a leader of the country by being a frog under the coconut shell. In just four years’ time, we would have become a developed nation, but we are still having a third world mentality, no thanks to such politicians.

What is even more shocking is when the social media is being used to spam Wong and Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali, turning the ‘no plastics’ into another racial issue!

It clearly shows that whoever the people are behind the smear campaign simply do not have the moral ground to lead Selangor.

If a good initiative like the ‘no plastics’ campaign can be turned into a race issue, I am not surprised that even the best of policies being implemented by the Selangor state government would also be politicised.

Since Wong’s name was being smeared with a statement purportedly from her, it was easy enough to just check whether it had come from her. When the answer is in the negative, we all know where it could have come from. I do not even have to mention it here.

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