Clearer skies, cleaner rivers – how do we keep them that way?

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Gunong Jerai in Kedah state, 1 May 2020, 8.07am - Since the lockdown, it has been visible from neighbouring Penang state more days than not. And not just visible - the details on the mountainside are showing more clearly - Photograph: Lye Tuck Po

Our political leaders should announce a diligent post Covid-19 action plan to maintain the now-improved quality of our rivers and the air, JD Lovrenciear writes.

Many people will agree that they are beginning to hear the birds sing in abundance, the flowers bloom in their neighbourhoods and the foliage thickening even in cities and towns.

Yes, it is true that after decades of abuse, our rivers have now received a new lease of life, as the coronavirus pandemic has forced human beings to stay at home.

Though this is a heavy price to pay to learn a lesson about environmental care, the fact is our enforcement is so weak that polluters or ‘environment criminals’ have been getting away for the past decades – despite the authorities’ claims of “ongoing investigations”.

Despite all the talk, today we must admit that our rivers and the skies can be clean and clear. They can supply our need for better, cleaner air and water and lush foliage if the government walks the talk more effectively.

The deciding factor is the government in a nation where attitudes and values have sunk so low.

Our political leaders should announce a diligent post Covid-19 action plan to maintain the now-improved quality of our river and the air.

But that calls for transparency and accountability. There has to be a patriotic sense of commitment. Publicly expose wrongdoers and businesses that are polluting the environment even if they involve people in high places.

Can we? My bet is as good as yours. We may in all probability need a Covid-20 (God forbid) before people show more commitment to a safer, cleaner environment.

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Ravinder Singh
2 May 2020 1.22pm

Yes, some of us are hoping what Covid has cleaned, can continue to be kept clean by humans. But then OLD HABITS DIE HARD! The polluters and environment destroyers are going to get back to their old habits, and perhaps more aggressively, in order to make up for lost income during the MCO. Has the government the political will to ensure the rivers and skies that Covid cleaned up will not be toxified again in no time? The ball is in the government’s court!

Gursharan Singh
Gursharan Singh
2 May 2020 10.38am

World should enjoy these benefits as they may not last long after GREED TAKES OVER after the COVID 19 controls are over.

# Is there not perception/suspicion that there may have been possible cases of MISMANAGEMENT-FRAUD-CORRUPTION-COLLUSION-CRONYISM-EMBEZZELMENT-NEPOTISM in the procurement of facilities-food-services-health items-etc and their distribution modes and recepients due to possible neglect of procedures/internal controls and no audit of transactions and systems?
# Was politifccal appointees to GLCs/other positions not been questioned & perceived to be another form of rewards for support financed from taxpayers’ funds?

# Would the Pre COVID 19 culture return in the Post COVID 19 period? POSSIBLE!!