On 21 January 2020, a stakeholder engagement workshop was held in ASM on the Local & Transboundary Pollution Act Feasibility Study.
The Workshop was carried out to gather feedback from government agencies, NGOs, CSOs, industry players and research institutes. A total of 65 people has attended the workshop and given their valuable input on the implication and implementation direction of the proposed act.
Transboundary pollution is pollution that originates from one country that crosses national borders to cause environmental damage on another country. This type of pollution has been detrimental on the health and economy of the ASEAN countries over the past decades.
The persistent haze episodes implied that diplomatic efforts are reaching stagnancy. This urges the Malaysian government to consider a legal approach to push for progress of mitigating the transboundary pollution. Owing to the transboundary nature, extraterritorial application of an act is inevitable, and is nothing short of challenging.
As an appointed strategic partner of MESTECC, ASM has formed a task force to study the feasibility of having a Local and Transboundary Pollution Act. Chaired by Professor Dato’ Ir Dr A. Bakar Jaafar FASc, the task force was given three months to complete the study. The first meeting was held on 10 November 2019.
On 20 December 2019, the task force successfully presented the findings to YB Puan Yeo Bee Yin, Minister of MESTECC. the task force delivered the justifications of having a transboundary pollution act, as well as proposed crucial mechanisms that would enable effective law enforcement. The findings affirmed the Minister’s decision in drafting a new act and in proposing a third-party commission in the next ASEAN Transboundary Haze Pollution meeting.
All input from the above-mentioned Workshop have been incorporated into a final report, which has been submitted to MESTECC on 14 February 2020.