By Klima Action Malaysia
We have been breathing polluted air for 36 years. Hundreds of Malaysians took to the streets to fight for climate justice, as well as forest preservation.
Friends, thank you for exercising your freedom of speech and fighting against the powers-that-be who are destroying the natural world. Their irresponsible acts have cost us our quality of life, our ecosystem as well as flora and fauna!
KAMY urges each and every person to view the issue of haze pollution and forest fires as a reality check that the climate crisis is here. The Air Pollutant Index (API) has exceeded 200, which is an unhealthy level for humans. The haze, which is both a symptom and cause of the rise in global temperatures and capitalist greed, affects each and every Malaysian. No one will be spared.
In essence, #MYCLIMATESTRIKE has 4 objectives:
- To increase public awareness regarding the climate crisis in Malaysia
- To increase the visibility of climate crisis and narrative from developing countries, with a focus on South Asia and Malaysia during the week of #GlobalClimateStrike
- To break the media and political silence in Malaysia vis-à-vis climate crisis.
- To urge for the declaration of a climate emergency for the mobilisation of funds and creation of policies.
#MYCLIMATESTRIKE started from Sogo, a place which has witnessed the struggle of the people and important moments in Malaysian democracy. Seven actions to combat haze pollution were read out when the crowd was en route to Dataran Merdeka.
Actions to Combat Haze #MYCLIMATESTRIKE
- The government has to legislate a Transboundary Haze Pollution Act
- The law must severely punish the companies that are responsible for the forest fires
- Form a special commission to investigate the companies that have been alleged for being responsible for the forest fires
- Forbid Government Linked Investment Companies (GLICs) from cooperating with companies responsible for the forest fires
- Companies dealing with natural resources have to produce a concession map to the relevant authorities
- Form a monitoring system in national hotspots to monitor companies dealing with natural resources
- The leaders of ASEAN have to promise to work effectively and take a firm stance on issues related to the environment
The 7 actions to combat haze are part of the online petition that will be brought to Parliament in October. Please visit media platform KAMY for more information: bit.ly/KAMYtuntut
Approximately 1,000 people marched to greet the voices of the future generation – the school kids from Penang. This symbolic act is to show that we are finally taking action to save the future of Malaysian children.
A dance performance, ‘Capoeira’, from Brazil, was also performed to increase awareness regarding the Amazon forest fires. The Capoeira performance was done to show solidarity with the people of Brazil. The victims of corporate greed are not just Malaysians, but the whole world.
The marching crowd reached Dataran Merdeka and speeches were being given by activists, a Member of Parliament, representatives of indigenous people, an academic and schoolchildren.
The list of speakers:
- Hishamuddin Rais, activist
- Wong Chen, Member of Parliament for Subang
- Gurmit Singh, chairperson of CETDEM
- Mustafa Along, chairperson of Indigenous People Kelantan Network (Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Kelantan)
- Dendi, youth chairperson of Indigenous People Kelantan Network (Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Kelantan)
- Alicia Teoh, founder and secretary of Shah Alam Community Forest
- Dr Khor Swee Kheng, practitioner, health system and policy from the University of Oxford
- Poem by Yara Kershot (12 years old) and Jaz Leen (10 years old)
- Advice from 4 schoolkids from Pulau Penang
#MYCLIMATESTRIKE ended with a die-in session, symbolizing extinction. Participants lay motionless on the ground to symbolise the mass death of humans when global temperatures rise over 1.5 degree Celsius.
KAMY would like to thank our partners who have worked hard to make #MYCLIMATESTRIKE a success. We also appreciate the grassroot activist groups who have long fought for environmental issues in Malaysia. KAMY will not be able to fight without each and every one of you. Furthermore, we would like to thank DBKL and the police for giving us the necessary cooperation to take care of the safety of participants. We would also like to thank Zero Waste Malaysia for cleaning up the areas where we had marched.
Environmental breakdown, which is directly linked to the climate crisis, has to be taken seriously. We have 11 years to act before the issue becomes too huge a problem for us to solve. The climate crisis is the single largest existential threat that humankind has ever faced.
KAMY urges all sectors to voice out and take actions to solve the environmental breakdown which is being caused by the greed of the few. With the state of our Earth is getting worse and worse, we urgently need you to RISE UP in this movement.
- KAMY –