BN’s free plastic bag pledge ‘height of idiocy’, says Pakatan

Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng of DAP says Barisan Nasional's pledge to give out free plastic shopping bags is 'shocking’ counter to the global effort to reduce environmental pollution. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, February 19, 2018.

BARISAN Nasional’s promise to reverse the no-plastic-bag rule in Selangor if it succeeds in recapturing the state in the coming elections is in direct violation of global environmental conservation efforts, said opposition leaders.

Yesterday, Selangor BN information chief Dr Satim Diman announced it was on the BN manifesto to bring back free plastic bags for shoppers in the Pakatan Harapan-led state.

The opposition-ruled states of Selangor and Penang, as well as the government-run states of Malacca and Johor and federal territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, and Putrajaya, have enforced a no-plastic-bag rule compelling shoppers to pay 20 sen for each plastic bag they use.

DAP’s Lim Lip Eng, who is the Segambut MP, said BN’s pledge was “shocking” and regressive.

“It is already a global effort to reduce the use of plastic bags in novel bid to fight environmental hazards,” Lim said in a statement today.

“Hence, it is the height of idiocy for BN to promise free plastic bags as part of its election manifesto.”

Selangor PKR Youth communication director Muhammad Naqib Nassaruddin said the pledge was a populist move that disregarded the negative effects on the environment.

“According to studies by the National Solid Waste Management Department, Malaysians produce more 19,000 tonnes of solid waste every year, and 24% of it is plastic.

“The natural degradation of plastic takes about 100-500 years. Indirectly, plastic is a threat to the environment.

“The campaign to be free of plastic bags and polystyrene is very important because they pose a big danger to the environment and to the health of consumers,” he said in a statement.

In a talk yesterday, Satim was reported to have said that apart from removing the 20 sen-per-bag charge on consumers, BN would set up a factory to produce plastic bags to be given out for free. – February 19, 2018.

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  • If Lim Lip Eng thinks its idiocy then he has a very unreal idea of what people are like and what practical politics is. In Indonesia, a cleric is caught red-handed in a sex scandal and they are organising 1 million supporters to welcome him home.. Real people run away from reality, hallucination is very very common and ordinary.

    Posted 6 years ago by Bigjoe Lam · Reply

  • What do you expect from an idiot? Umno will never run out of idiots.

    Posted 6 years ago by Ali Along · Reply

  • I do not think consumers should be charged 20 sen per plastic bag . I think the manufacturers should have to pay the actual cost of the plastic which includes the environmental cost . We would see bio-degradable plastics everywhere in no time . People say oh the cost of biodegradables is too high . No the cost of plastic is way higher it is just the people who produce that garbage do not actually pay the true cost . Malaysia can sort out the crisis with the new EU regulations on palm oil which are totally fair since countries in South East Asia have been creating the most sickening haze for decades to keep their cost of production low even if it means poisoning entire nations , they have had plenty of time to sort their act out but they just did not care . It is very simple , start growing hemp . Hemp oil is far superior to palm oil in terms of its' uses , it's impact on the environment , the cost of production , you can even make biodegradable plastic out of it but because the current producers of plastic are not paying the cost of their product we are told that hemp is actually more expensive . If Malaysia wants to be an economic power house hemp is the way forward , get with the program Malaysia and stop cow-towing to American right wing fascist interests .

    Posted 6 years ago by Horas returns · Reply

  • The issue here is no plastic items as such but thin, single-use PLASTIC BAGS which when disposed of irresponsibly, harm marine life, such as by looking like jellyfish to marine life such as sea turtles and so forth. They also tend to choke marine mammals such as seals and so forth.

    Also, shoppers can still pay 20sen for a plastic bag and if they dispose of them irresponsibly after that, the affects will be the same.

    Thus, I'd like to know by how much has this No Free Plastic Bags ruling actually reduced harm to marine life. Have there been any research findings which show its true effectiveness in achieving its stated aim.

    The solution then is to implement means and facilities to collect back such single-use plastic bags fater they have been disposed of and if they cannot be practically recycled, then do something to render them harmless to marine life, such as to melt them down and cast them into plastic blocks which may or may not have further practical use.

    I can only speak about Selangor and despite its stated concern for the environment in this No Free Plastic Bags ruling, the Selangor state government has done nothing or hardly anything to establish a comprehensive recycling programme in Selangor with recycling bins in public places, awareness campaigns with the participation of supermarkets, malls and other public places in the recycling programme.

    Without these additional measures and facilities in place, this No Free Plastic Bags campaign is just a band aid measure, which looks good and feels good.

    Meanwhile, if the BN is in populist mode right now, also promise to cut taxes and duties on tobacco, beer and liquor, and increase the subsidy on fuel prices as well.

    Posted 6 years ago by IT Scheiss · Reply

    • I agree with a lot of what you say but I still think the solution lies in hitting the manufacturers , not the consumers . As for cutting taxes on liquor and beer , that would be unlikely to help BN win the next election , urban Malays are not going to vote for Najib even if their beer costs less and rural Malay voters would see the decrease in tax on alcohol as anti-Islamic . As for the non-Malay vote , Najib can forget about any support from them , paying less for beer and tobacco does not outweigh our concerns that under Najib we are being taken into a theocratic dictatorship where the leaders are immune from prosecution as they flout all the so called Islamic law they claim to uphold while ordinary peoples lives will be ruined by obscene powers being given to corrupt officials .

      Posted 6 years ago by Horas returns · Reply

    • That was just a dig at BN's populism.

      Yes. Making use of biodegradable plastic bags compulsory is a good measure instead of this No Free Plastic Bag ruling.

      However, do they have the political will to do so when the manufacturers will scream "bad for business".

      Posted 6 years ago by IT Scheiss · Reply