Apart from up-grading to a gas guzzling Vellfire (luxury cars being clearly a priority for the clerics of PAS at this time of Covid related financial hardship) one wonders what if anything the cleric cum politician Tuan Ibrahim cares or knows about the environment?
What we do know is that Malaysia under the present coup government stubbornly ignored this eleventh hour major international conference on tackling the global climate crisis throughout the first week, not even sending a minister to attend, let alone a head of government.
Despite intense lobbying by more responsible governments it has been observed that Malaysia has so far also even failed to sign up to the extremely tame commitment to cease logging in ten years time.
Now, it appears, the UMNO/PAS coup mongers in KL have belatedly looked up from their efforts to grab as much from the public purse as possible to realise it all looks rather bad. Perhaps the diary secretary at Tuan’s eco-ministry had forgotten to mark the conference in?
So, they must have asked themselves, who is the ‘environment’ chap they can possibly send to catch up with events and lead on Malaysia’s own ‘policy agenda’ on the matter? As we are now of course reminded, this particular juicy portfolio has gone to the number two at PAS, an Islamic scholar from Pahang whose party has mainly shown itself preoccupied with implementing backward and sadistic punishments against non-conformists.
Before he rushes off to represent Malaysia at this long-planned event therefore, it would be nice if Tuan Ibrahim could demonstrate that he at least understands the science behind climate change, let alone how the consequences (such as flooding) are presently affecting great swathes of Malaysia itself and threaten hunger and a collapse of farming in the very near future for the next generation in his home state.
Statements such as the one reported below offer slender grounds for confidence:
The government will carry out carbon trading carefully so that such activities do not affect the country’s greenhouse gas emissions commitment, said Environment and Water Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man. [Malay Mail]
Does he understand a word of the PR gobbledygook contained in the statements (see below) uttered from his government’s newly minted ‘Malaysian Climate Change Action Council (MyCAC)’. If so, could he translate the waffle into a meaningful statement on Malaysia’s plans for action?
Another approach is the development of a “green recovery plan” agenda such as the “Green New Deal” so that Malaysia will become a hub in the field of green economy, services and technology, and will foster green lifestyles in all walks of life through the concept of planetary health towards holistic sustainable development, he [Tuan Ibrahim] said.
One other approach is the strengthening of the country’s climate change governance through the involvement of all stakeholders, and the implementation of various programmes to drive the climate change agenda by mobilising manpower resources and financial allocations, he [Tuan Ibrahim] said.
That all this and more is reported to be achieved by MyCAC through just two meetings a year is the strongest indication as to the actual level of the present Malaysian government’s actual commitment towards restraining the greedy resource extraction that has destroyed one of the most abundant natural environments on the planet in just half the lifetime of Tuan Ibrahim (essentially the period of his political career).
As environment minister there is little evidence he has shown any interest in the matters in his portfolio. Indeed, as opposition politicians had pointed out, at the major global launch of COP last week he was still back in Malaysia harping on about one of his party’s long-standing obsessions, namely alcohol, instead.
Likewise, as an active politician over many years in Pahang he has presided apparently uncaring over the devastating destruction of his state, through greedy timber extraction and mining and plantation grabs that have profited his party and ruling elites at the expense of the poorest rural and indigenous communities.
Most of Pahang’s once valuable natural resources (which could have been profitably sustained for the people of the state) now lie in ruins and vast numbers of species have been wiped out across Malaysia before they could even be recorded and their potential properties identified. Just for quick profits for a privileged elite.
Erosion and flooding and deadly pollution in Pahang and elsewhere have been the consequence of the wholesale replacement of natural forests with monoculture oil palm plantations and careless industry. Wildlife has all but disappeared in just a few years and the indigenous people’s protests have fallen on deaf ‘religious’ ears as their suffering increases.
Tuan Ibrahim either fails to understand how on present trends these consequences will get exponentially worse for the coming generation or unethically he fails to care.
Meanwhile, no expense is clearly to be spared on Tuan Ibrahim’s fancy transportation so doubtless he will be assigned first class airline seats to Glasgow, where he is now belatedly going to sign the ‘Zero Deforestation Deal’ that represents just the tiniest commitment to tackling the behaviour of Tuan Ibrahim’s own state government over the past many years.
One thing this veteran politician cum religious leader does probably understand is that after 2030 it will not be him who is around to have to worry about implementing it.