September 16 – Red Shirts and the Day of Shame

Yesterday was Malaysia Day when Malaysians from all walks of life should have been celebrating with joy and happiness our togetherness as a nation united and unified. We should have been renewing our pledge under the Rukun Negara to swear our belief in God, loyalty to King and country, to safeguard democracy, the Constitution and rule of law and to always conduct our affairs with courtesy and morality.

Instead, the nation was treated to a day of infamy and shame when thousands of Red Shirts, with the blessing of the Prime Minister and his deputy, descended on Kuala Lumpur, to trumpet Malay supremacy, sow fear of impending violence and incite hatred against other races, particularly the Chinese.

This was a Day when all Malaysians should have got together, as they did at Taman Tasik Shah Alam, Selangor, for a walk in a show of unity to champion the ideals of peace, respect and love. Therefore, words cannot describe the sense of shame and disgust that I felt seeing Malays in red shirts – men and women alike – chanting racist slogans and expressions of contempt and hatred against the other communities.

Is this UMNO’s best idea of restoring Malay dignity? Busing in thousands of Felda settlers and party members from the states and setting them loose like an angry mob out to lynch others?

Is this UMNO’s best idea of shoring up support for the Prime Minister? Whipping up anti-Chinese, anti-DAP sentiment and engaging in acts of provocation like marching to Low Yat and Petaling Street?

Is this UMNO’s definition of “Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu” where only Malays belonging to one political party and members from right-wing groups congregate with no positive agenda or purpose except to vilify the Chinese community and their leaders and to shout at the top of their voices how great Malays are supposed to be?

And is this how UMNO wants to show-case the religion of Islam? Indeed, by saying that racism is in line with Islamic teachings and that such a rally, even though racist,is endorsed by the religion, they have added insult to injury and have committed great dishonour to Islam and Malay dignity.

The leaders responsible for this day of infamy are now forever tainted with having violated the unwritten code of conduct as a nation – to treat all the communities with honour, dignity and respect. They should be seized with remorse and overcome by shame – if there is any self-respect left in them.

Malaysia Day is a day to remind all of us that this country is multi-racial and multi-religious, united under the King as head of state and that we must treat each other with courtesy and moral rectitude. Rather than marching with hatred and animosity, we should have been marching hand in hand as a nation regardless of race, colour or creed singing our Negara Ku, renewing our social compact and strengthening our bonds of citizenship under the flag of Malaysia.

Hidup Malaysia!

Mohamed Azmin Ali

Chief Minister State of Selangor

17th September 2015

Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

1. Alhamdulillah, bersyukur kita kehadrat Allah SWT kerana dengan keizinanNya jua, Kerajaan Negeri dapat menganjurkan Seminar Beyond 3R : A More Sustainable Solution for Selangor Waste Management pada hari ini yang melibatkan semua YB Ahli Dewan Negeri dan Pimpinan PBT serta Jabatan dan Agensi pelaksana. Tekad kita adalah untuk menjadikan Negeri Selangor sebagai Negeri Bersih.

2. Cabaran kita di Negeri Selangor sebagai sebuah Negeri Maju bukan sahaja untuk mencari penyelesaian kepada pengurusanSisa Pepejal dan pembersihan awam yang efektif serta pelupusan sampah yang selamat, berteknologi tinggi dan mempunyai nilai ekonomi tetapi samamencabar ialah untuk mengurus pencipta sampah iaitu manusia.

3. Undang-undang sahaja tidak dapat menyelesaikan masalah tetapi manusia perlu dibina melalui pendidikan dan kesedaran bahawa kebersihan adalah penting dan merupakan tanggungjawab bersama.

4. Maka, satu anjakan paradigma amat perlu dalam usaha untuk mencari penyelesaian yang holistik dan sustainable.

5. Today we will be discussing about our vision for a sustainable waste management solution for Selangor.

6. Start by calling for a paradigm shift in waste management. I believe it is time we dump our old ways of dealing with rubbish and replace it with an entirely new approach. I am not talking about methods or technologies here but a total change of mind set. This new approach requires us to stop looking at the waste but to focus on ourselves first. To my mind, with this paradigm shift, the rest will fall in place.

7. In most cases of dealing with waste, we have been merely reacting to the situation. I have been going around the state taking a literally hands-on approach or to be precise –a hands-and-knees approach in trying to help solve this waste problem.

8. Sudah sememangnya ‘Ops Terjah’ sebegini berhasil untuk memastikan semua pihak senantiasa memberi perhatian berat terhadap isu ini. Adakalanya kita perlu dikejutkan, untuk tidak leka. Walau bagaimanapun, usaha ini tidak ‘sustainable’.

9. Kita harus melihat dalam diri dan organisasi kita sendiri. Kita perlu mendidik rakyat untuk menjaga kebersihan alam sekitar. Jika kita berjaya meningkatkan kesedaran sivik, rakyat akan mempunyai motivasi untuk menuruti ‘best practice’ bukan sahajamelupuskan sampah dengan kaedah yang betul tetapi juga untuk mengurangkan penghasilan sampah.

10. Kesedaran awam atau pendidikan sivik harus ditanam di dalam jiwa dan hati sanubari rakyat. Perlu ada undang-undang yang sesuai untuk menjamin kebersihan awam menjadi budaya dalam masyarakat.Namun begitu, ‘big-stick approach’ hanya efektif di fasa awalan.

11. But let me stress that enforcement is the key, once legislation is in place. Singapore would not be this clean if they only had laws on paper. And this must be tackled hand in hand with the problem of corruption. Once you give more power to public authorities you also open up new avenues for corrupt practices.

12. We need a holistic approach. The issue cannot be tackled in isolation. We need the citizens to buy in to the approach. And what I say about citizens apply even more for public servants and institutions.So, a change in the attitude of society as a whole is crucial to achieve this paradigm shift.

13. For those in public positions and those in charge of making decisions that affect the environment we live in, a more crucial change is needed.

14. We must stop merely reacting to the situation and be proactive instead.To do that, we need to stand back and pause a while. What is it that we want for Selangor in 20 years’ time? What do we aspire to leave behind for our future generations?The answers to these questions warrant some intense soul-searching, deep reflection and robust debate but these are vital in order for us to articulate a clear vision.

15. Without a clear vision, there can be no meaningfulstrategies. What we think of as strategies may just be reactive measures and in the sustainable scheme of things, that is akin to shooting in the dark.

16. I believe we all want a clean environment. We want clean and fresh air, no noxious fumes and bad odour, clean water and ecosystems that help to harmonise us with nature. In order to attain that, among other things, our waste management will have to be world class.

17. Kita memerlukan satu visi atau wawasan jangka panjang untuk Negeri Selangor yang akan menjadi tuan rumah kepada beberapa bandaraya-mega (megacities)dengan alam sekitar yang bersih dan mempunyai jaringan (connection) bertaraf dunia. Kita mahukan Negeri Selangor untuk meletakkan piawai dan tanda aras bagi penjagaan alam sekitar dan pengurusan sisa pepejal bertaraf dunia serta penetapan ‘green lungs’.

18. Dalam sesi dialog Pra-Belanjawan 2016 bersama Ahli-Ahli Dewan Negeri baru-baru ini, beberapa perkara telah dibincangkan, Kerajaan Negeri Selangor akan memastikan initiative yang baru ini akan mengelakkan monopoli industry oleh satu pihak dengan mengekalkan proses tender serta bersedia mengkaji semula harga kontrak bersesuaian dengan kerja-kerja pengurusan sisa pepejal dan pembesihan awam yang semakin meningkat dari segi penghasilan sampah.

19. Selangor menghasilkan 8,000 tan sisa pepejal sehari. Walaubagaimanapun, hanya separuh dikutip dan dihantar ke tapak pelupusan sampah (landfill). Kita dapat melihat korelasi diantara GDP yang semakin meningkat, akan meningkatkan penghasilan sampah per kapita. Justeru itu, kita harus bersedia untuk mengurus peningkatan penghasilan sampah yang berterusan dalam usaha kita untuk menjayakan ‘Agenda Makmur Selangor’.

20. Kita perlu meningkatkan kualiti dan piawai kutipan sampah terutamanya kualiti perkhidmatan dan sasaran kutipan kepada sekurang-kurangnya 80% menjelang tahun hadapan.

21. Tanggapan lapuk terhadap sampah harus diperbetulkan. Kita harus berhenti melihat ianya sekadar sampah sarap semata-mata, tidak bernilai dan boleh dibuang dimerata-rata tempat. Kita harus melihat sampah sebagai satu sumber tenaga dan mempunyai nilai ekonomi.

22. Sementara sampah yang terhasil meliputi pelbagai kategori dan perlu ditangani secara berbeza, adalah menjadi objektif bersama untuk mengurangkan penghasilan sampah. Pada masa sama, ‘specialised disposal treatments’ memerlukan pengurusan yang bermutu oleh Kerajaan Negeri. Untuk maksud ini, kita harus mempertimbangkan teknologi-teknologi yang lebih canggih.

23. Sebagai contoh; teknologi yang terkehadapan untuk menjana tenaga daripada sampah organik harus dibincangkan kerana buat masa ini kita seringmerosakkan dan memusnahkan kesuburan tanah dan nilai tanah ditapak landfill.

24. Tanah di dalam Negeri Selangor mempunyai nilai komersil yang tinggi dan amat terhad. Jika kita meneruskan kaedah konvensional dengan membuang di tapak-tapak pelupusan sampah (landfill), kita sebenarnya menyumbang kepada kerosakan alam sekitar dan kemusnahan kesuburan tanah berkenaan.

25. Ini boleh menjadi satu kerugian ekonomi yang kekal. Saya menyarankan agar kita melihat semula usaha untukmengguna pakai teknologi baru. Teknologi ini mesti reliable, robust, ideally future-proof. Enakmen dan undang-undang yang relevan perlu dibina di posisi yang sesuai untuk memastikan ianya dapat digunapakai dan beroperasi dengan selamat.

26. In this regard, we may want to look at the Japanese model where the principle is that waste generated by a local authority must be managed by that very local authority.

27. To my mind that’s fair and reasonable. Why should we condone the practice of dumping waste onto other local authorities?

28. With greater efficiency in management, there will also be greater effectiveness in tending to the rakyat’s grievances. The complaints are legitimate, and as you know, these are among the reasons that prompted us to launch the “terjah” campaigns.

29. While we plan for the future and attempt to translate our long-term policies into reality, we must also have in place a quick response systemto deal with public grouses.

30. We embarked on several initiatives in line with the people’s aspirations. We have spent more than RM 30 million on immediate clean-up. We set up a centralised SPV to improve waste management and complaint management mechanism for the residents. And we commissioned research on current state and a future roadmap for a more sustainable waste management solution for Selangor.

31. It was Franklin D. Roosevelt who said: “A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people. ”

32. Saya berharap usaha murni kita bersama akan dapat mencorakkan agenda pembangunan di Negeri Selangor selaras dengan gagasan “Pembangunan Berkualiti, Rakyat Dipeduli”.

33. Maka, dengan lafaz Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim marilah kita sama-sama menyempurnakan Seminar Beyond 3R : A More Sustainable Solution for Selangor Waste Management.

Wassalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

Thank you.