Minister: We need two years before waste segregation can be implemented nationwide

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin holding a chart on plastic scrap processing during the public lecture session on plastic waste in Putrajaya January 15, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin holding a chart on plastic scrap processing during the public lecture session on plastic waste in Putrajaya January 15, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 15 — Zuraida Kamaruddin said the Housing and Local Government Ministry will need a two year buffer period for its finances to stabilise before roping in other states into the mandatory solid waste separation programme.

She said her ministry does not have the money as the Federal government would need to subsidise the move.

“I am giving myself two years because we need to stabilise things and the financial state of the ministry. We are also moving away from landfills and going to WTE (waste-to-energy) so after that, I am sure we can get some savings and the other states will come in.

“They wanted to come in, but we don’t have the money because when they come in, we have to subsidise and there is not enough money yet,” she told reporters after a public lecture session on plastic waste management issues, here, today.

Though Zuraida had then opposed the programme when Pakatan Harapan was the Opposition, she said the waste separation programme is important in order to create a cleaner Malaysia.

“You want Malaysia to be clean, so it has to be put in one system where it is uniform and consistent with the quality standards of cleanliness.

“Under the concessionaire, the recycling programme is very effective. It is more organised so these are the things we should move to the other states as well,” she said.

On September 1, 2015, the former Barisan Nasional government had implemented mandatory separation of solid waste in stages in several states that were under its power.

The states involved are the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, Johor, Melaka, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Kedah and Perlis.