Putrajaya – The Mind Transformation Plan “Towards a Clean and Beautiful Nation 2015-2020” was launched today, outlining various strategies and comprehensive actions to help Malaysia become the 10 cleanest countries in the world.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who launched the programme here said one main agenda was to implant a first-class mindset and excellent civic culture in order to spearhead Malaysia’s progress to the status of a developed nation.
“We hope the society can see the need for environmental preservation, adopting cleanliness, environmental sustainability and beauty of the surroundings a priority as well as regarding solid waste as an economic resource in society,” he said in a press conference held after launching the programme.
Muhyiddin said it was hoped that with the plan, Malaysia’s position would improve from 51st to among the top 10 cleanest countries in the world by 2020.
In his speech at the launch of the plan, Muhyiddin commented that the thinking, attitudes and habits of Malaysians in looking after the cleanliness of their surroundings and environmental preservation, still needed serious attention.
“This lack of concern and sense of responsibility is causing the highways and public areas to be filled with rubbish and need daily cleaning. Overall, in 2014 alone, the government spent more than RM1.4 billion for solid waste management services and general cleaning,” he said.
Muhyiddin said various efforts had been implemented by the government to increase public awareness of the importance of recycling but the objectives had still not been achieved.
He said the national rate of recycling today was only at 10.5 per cent of disposed items, compared to the more than 40 per cent in developed nations.
Muhyiddin said with the amount of waste discarded at landfills each year estimated to be about 2.3 tonnes, with a value of RM900 million, an increase in recycling rates would have major benefits in recycled resources and generate national economy.
He said the government through the Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government would impose mandatory separation of household solid waste in stages, beginning this September.
“I have been informed that collection of waste which has been separated will be implement according to a fixed schedule and will be fully implemented in states which have the Act 672. They are the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, Pahang, Johor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Perlis and Kedah,” he said.
Commenting on the practice of recycling which could generate income, Muhyiddin who is also the Education Minister urged schools which had not set up Recycling Clubs, to do so quickly.
He said such a move would support the government’s efforts to plant and increase the practice of recycling so that the target of reducing waste at the landfills by 40 percent could be achieved by 2020. — BERNAMA