By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Dec 5: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg expressed appreciation to the federal government, especially Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, for returning the authority to Sarawak to regulate and look after the environment.
He pointed out that following the fruitful Malaysia Agreement (MA63) meeting which ended last month, the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (DUN) had unanimously passed the Natural Resources and Environment (Amendment) Bill 2019 on Nov 4.
“Environmental issue was one matter being discussed during the MA63 discussion. As a result, we have amended the Natural Resources and Environment (Ordinance) to make sure that the process of looking after our environment is in line with the (Environment) quality Act.
“With the amendment, officials of the Natural Resource and Environment Board (NREB) are categorised as public officers to enable them enforcement power to take the necessary action, monitor and manage the environment,” he highlighted at NREB 25th Anniversary Dinner last night (Dec 4).
With the authority, he added that NREB public officers had to make sure implementation of policies and matters in regards to the environment could be carried out.
Noting that environmental and sustainability issues were at the forefront of a country’s development, Abang Johari emphasised that Sarawak must play a part in strengthening the global climate effort.
“For sustainable development, there is a need to strike a balance between our (Sarawak’s) development with the needs to conserve and making sure our environment is not affected much,” he said.
He highlighted efforts were required in education to raise greater awareness among the young generation as well as the role of the citizen and corporate sector in ensuring environmental-friendly processes.
“With development of industries, we must take into cognizance the importance of environment, which is why NREB is very important in state development.
“We also have to look at the future by adopting modern technology in the process of development. Education and sustainability must go together with technologies in terms of how we conserve our environment,” he added. —DayakDaily