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Malaysians Urged To Join In The Protest Memorandum At The Indonesian Embassy On 11am Friday For Allowing The Haze To Contaminate Our Environment And Hold A Public Anti-Haze Campaign In Taman Tasik Permaisuri in Bandar Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur On Sunday 9.30 Am 14 August 2005

Press Statement

by Lim Guan Eng  

(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): DAP calls on all Malaysians to join in the protest memorandum at the Indonesian Embassy on 11 am Friday 12.8.2005 and a public anti-haze campaign in Taman Tasik Tasik Permaisuri in Bandar Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur On Sunday 9.30 Am 14.8.2005.

DAP will be handing a memorandum to the Indonesian Embassy tomorrow protesting against the failure of the Indonesian Government to stop the haze that pollutes our environment to dangerous levels from becoming an annual event. As the source of haze is in Sumatra, Malaysians are powerless to do anything to fight this threat to their and our childrenís health and safety unless Indonesia is serious about taking action. 

Indonesiaís apology does not mean anything if it is not followed up by concrete action to reduce the annual haze pollution. What is the point of saying sorry if the illegal burning of forests to plant oil palm continues without any enforcement? Instead of improvement with less haze, Malaysians are furious and worried that the threat of haze has increased.

DAP calls on Malaysians upset with Indonesiaís abject failure and callous indifference to the sufferings caused to Malaysians  to turn up at the Indonesian Embassy at 11 am to protest to show our anger and demand for concrete action. Malaysians want an explanation why the Indonesian government can not stop the haze from becoming a tragic annual event.

DAP will also be holding another public anti-haze campaign attended by NGOs and famous environmentalists at 9.30 am in Taman Tasik Tasik Permaisuri in Bandar Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur On Sunday 9.30 Am 14.8.2005. All those who unable to take time from work to attend the protest at the Indonesian Embassy on Friday are urged to attend this Sunday event to show our solidarity, anger and demands for a collective effort by Indonesia and ASEAN to stop the hazardous haze from threatening us again.

Why Declare A State Of Emergency?:- The Government Must Act Now When The Air Pollution Index (API) Hits The Hazardous Level Of 300 Not Wait Until 500 When It Is Already Too Late.

DAP calls Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Datuk Seri Adenan Satem to explain the features of a state of emergency the government intends to declare when the API reaches 500. Declaring a state of emergency means suspending democracy, Parliament, human rights and civil liberties as well as bringing in a dictatorial state.

The government must explain why an emergency suspending Parliament, human rights and civil liberties is necessary to face the threat of haze, which is an environmental pollution problem caused by the lack of enforcement of open burning in Sumatra, Indonesia. The public has a right to know what type of emergency measures are required that need a state of emergency.

Suspending Parliament and imposing emergency role is a very drastic step where the nationís life is at stake, that is taken only as a measure of last resort. DAP is willing to support strong measures that benefit the people, especially in protecting their health. However, unless the government can fully justify their need to declare a state of emergency, DAP would oppose such suspension of democracy.

DAP believes that the public will support emergency measures taken now without a need to declare a state of emergency. That is why DAP strongly disapproves of Datuk Adenanís statement that the government will act when the API reaches 500. It is meaningless for an API of 300 to be considered hazardous and yet no strong measures taken.The government must act now when the API hits the hazardous level of 300 and not wait until 500 when it is already too late.



* Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General

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