Pollution faced in Malaysia
Land pollution :
Agriculture still plays a very important role in the development of Malaysia and a lot of emphasis has been laid on it. Too much perhaps, the wildlife that thrives so abundantly among us has been placed in danger.
In Cameron Highlands, in the state of Pahang, one of the many places where vegetables as well as tea which it is famous for, is planted, human activity has taken itís toll on the fragile environment. Large scale farming has caused thousands of acres of forest land to be ploughed up and the habitat of thousands, maybe even millions of wildlife has been destroyed. Many wildlife flee or migrate to escape the dangers and activities of man. Unknown to them, they cause an imbalance in their ecosystem, making some areas too densely populated with predators and not enough food to go around.
Pesticides used in agriculture also plays a main role in the degradation of the environment. Many of these pesticides contain non biological ingredients and can cause abnormal changes in any wildlife that comes across it. In other words, these chemicals can cause wildlife to mutate. Not only insects to which the pesticides are aimed towards are affected, but also the animals which feed on them and they can eventually end up in human bodies.
Pesticides pollute the earth, making it useless as well as poisonous after all the nutrients have been sapped out from it. Thus the land may lay barren and empty for years before it is able to recover its normal pH level and nutrients. Pesticides also flow into the rivers and streams and eventually seas, causing pollution as it continues its seaward journey.
Pesticides, if used at a minimal amount, is harmless and even helps in the production of agriculture by eliminating unwanted pests. But pests soon build up a defense system and are eventually immune to the effects of the pesticides and become very hard to get rid off. So, farmers have no choice but to increase in the amount of pesticides. The effects are unimaginable.
Logging too has made its mark in the degradation of nature. ( I bet you already know the effects, guys. So needless for me to say anymore!) Malaysia is forced to become a dumping site to the millions of tons of rubbish thrown every week due to her sharp increase in the population. This has become a major headache to everyone in the country.
Malaysia has risen to the industrial age, not wanting to be left behind in the dark ages anymore, but at the cost of the environment. Many industrial zones have been approved by the government to be set up in mostly forestland and uninhabited areas. One very good example of the industrial zone is of Shah Alam in the state of Selangor. As a result, trees has been cut down to accommodate towards the building of large industrial factories.
Not only has the oxygen supply been decreased, these factories are spewing out poisonous gases in the course of its production.
Naturally, people would flock to industrial zones such as Shah Alam because of the high pay and high opportunity of jobs involved. Shah Alam is now one of the most densely populated areas as well as one of the most highly polluted areas in the country, and yet it is not the only one. One can imagine the amount of people who will be affected by the long side effects of the pollution from the gases.
The increasing amount of cars in Malaysia also has lent a hand in the pollution. Excess poisonous gases and heat are emitted daily (you should know the rest). Open air burning, despite it being banned by law, has not been heeded by the people of Malaysia. Burning is also the only way right now to get rid of the excess rubbish. Smoke and heat is released.
As Malaysia is fast becoming an industrial country, many of her rivers have become polluted due to the many wastes that have been poured out into her rivers. Such as the paper making industry, it requires chemicals, often poisonous in its production. The rivers are used as an outlet for the chemicals to drain away, in turn harming the waters and the lives that revolve around them.
There are many ethnic aboriginal groups that still exist in Malaysia and the people depend on the rivers and streams to survive. They depend on the river for food, water supply for drinking, bathing and for their crops. the river happens to be the main centre of their livelihood and without the rivers the whole tribes cannot survive as their ancestors had done generations before them, all of them depending on the rivers.
The rivers have become a tourist attraction and this has prompted the construction of hotels and resorts around the area. As a result, many of the forests surrounding the river areas have been chopped down. The surrounding soil have no roots to hold on to and soon erode when the rains come. The soil runs into the rivers and soon the rivers become murky and shut out all the sunlight from reaching the aquatic life in the rivers and streams. This causes them to die.
A good example is the construction of a new golf course near the waterfall at tourist attraction Fraserís Hill in the state of Pahang, causing it to become extremely murky and dirty due to the silt and sand that comes from the construction. The waterfall which has been the centrepoint of the hill has now lost all its attraction just because of the overwhelming need to attract more tourists to the place by building more facilities.
Another example of the tourist industry in being the cause of pollution is the water area. At Chini Lake (Tasik Chini), just so that 'eco-tourists' don't have to get their feet wet, the Government built a dam at the river draining Pahang's Tasik Chini. But now the dam has drowned thousands of trees surrounding the lake, threatening fisheries as well. In a cautionary tale of the times, Andrew Sia who won the ICI-CCM Environmental Journalism Award (Honourable Mention) for his 1994 story, Damming the Lotus Lake, revisits Tasik Chini to seek out the real picture behind the ostensible 'tourist pampering' rationale of the dam.
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