Malaysia’s exclusion from the Leaders Summit on Climate that US President Joe Biden hosted reflects poorly on the country and the state of its environmental activism, said DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.
The Bagan MP criticised Environment and Water Minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man and said he must explain the snub from the White House when others in the region such as Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam were invited.
Lim asserted that Malaysia’s exclusion suggested that the world viewed the country as more of a dumping ground rather than a strategic environmental partner.
“Up to now, Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man has failed to explain why Vietnam can be invited, but Malaysia excluded from this summit.
“Tuan Ibrahim should wake up and set his vision on how to integrate climate change measures into the work of government agencies and the way forward to reclaim our ‘climate change’ reputation,” Lim said in a statement.
Lim then mocked Tuan Ibrahim’s PAS by saying the party’s signature green was not indicative of his environmental views.
“Sadly, as a leader of a party whose colour is green, Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man has short-changed the country with his poor performance in pushing green policies until Malaysia is seen as inferior to Vietnam,” he said.
The Summit will be held virtually on April 22 and April 23, with a total of 40 world leaders invited by Biden who took office as the US president in January.
Besides Malaysia’s neighbours, other developing nations invited to the session include Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Jamaica, US associate state the Republic of the Marshall Islands, South Africa, and Nigeria.
Lim today said being excluded from an event in which attendees were described as “heads of other countries that are demonstrating strong climate leadership, are especially vulnerable to climate impacts, or are charting innovative pathways” indicated the decline in Putrajaya’s environmental consciousness.
The former finance minister said the government has regressed in this area since his party colleague Yeo Bee Yin’s time as energy and climate change minister, when she pushed through environmentally sound policies.
“To prevent Malaysia from being the dumping ground for plastic waste, Yeo was at the forefront of returning shipping containers of plastic waste back to their country of origin.
“She was also instrumental in the amendment to the classification of plastic wastes under the Basel Convention, to restrict the import of such waste,” he said.
Lim then suggested current minister Tuan Ibrahim should take after his predecessor.
“Despite denials by the Perikatan Nasional Environment and Water Minister Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, the PN government has allowed Malaysia to slowly become the US dumping ground for “clean” plastic waste.
“He had explained that the plastic wastes were clean, homogeneous and met conditions for plastic waste import permits.
“If Tuan Ibrahim Man is so confident about how plastic waste can be ‘clean’, then he should allow a “clean” plastic waste factory to be built next to his home in Kelantan or Pahang,” Lim quipped.
Lim was commenting on Tuan Ibrahim’s remarks last week that two containers that arrived at Port Klang from the United States carried clean polyethylene commercial plastic waste, despite previous efforts to halt the arrival of waste here. – MMO