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Malaysia to send back plastic waste from Europe, US sent for ‘recycling’

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

Containers of plastic trash from shipped to Malaysia from 14 countries including United States, Japan, France, Canada, Australia and Britain | Courtesy: Reuters

Malaysia will send as much as 3,000 tonnes of plastic waste back to the countries it came from, the environment minister said on Tuesday (May 28), the latest Asian country to reject rich countries’ rubbish.

Malaysian officials have identified at least 14 origin countries, including the United States, Japan, France, Canada, Australia and Britain, for its unwanted waste sent “under the pretext of recycling”.

“So, what the citizen of the UK believe that they sent for recycling is actually dumped in our country. And this is something that is very serious, and we did not only find this one company, we have found a few companies from different countries,” said Yeo Been Yin, Malaysia’s Minister of energy, technology, science, climate change and environment.

Malaysia last year became the world’s main destination for plastic waste after China banned its import, disrupting the flow of more than 7 million tonnes of the trash a year.

Dozens of recycling factories have cropped up in Malaysia, many without operating licenses, and communities have complained of environmental problems.

“Now we know that garbage, like what you see just now, is traded under the pretext of recycling,” the Malaysian minister said.

He added that 60 containers of trash that had been imported illegally would be sent back.

“We are compiling the list of the so called ‘recycling companies’ from these developed countries and we will send back, send the list of these names of these companies to the respective governments, to take further actions against, and investigation for these companies in their respective countries,” he said.

“Malaysians like any other developing countries have a right to clean air, clean water, sustainable resources and clean environment to live in, just like citizens of developed nations a right to clean environment to live in, just like citizens of developed nations,” he added. (REUTERS)

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Philippines eyes withdrawal from UN Human Rights Council

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, July 15th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. hinted on the possible withdrawal of the Philippines from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNCHR).

Locsin posted the idea on Saturday (July 13) when a netizen inquired about how the Philippine representation in Iceland reacted to the Council’s approval of Iceland’s resolution seeking to probe into the human rights situation in the Philippines in relation to the Duterte administration’s drug war.

The resolution garnered 18 affirmative votes, 14 negative and 15 abstentions.

 “No embassy in Iceland. Nor does Iceland have an embassy here. Iceland took the place of the US after it withdrew from the Human Rights Council. I think we need to follow America more,” Locsin said.

The United States withdrew from the UNHRC on June 19, 2018 in protest to what it claimed as ‘chronic bias’ against Israel and for allowing human rights violators and abusers as members.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley then described the human rights body as ‘hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights.”

“For too long, the human rights council has been a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias,” Haley said during the official announcement of U.S. withdrawal from UNHRC.

In October 2018, the Philippines lobbied for a seat at the UNHRC and won after receiving 165 votes of 192 cast by UN member states.

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Malaysia seizes over 5,000 smuggled terrapins at airport

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 26th, 2019


Malaysian authorities said on Wednesday (June 26) they had seized more than 5,000 smuggled terrapins at Kuala Lumpur airport last week.

Two Indian nationals were travelling with 5,255 red-eared sliders, a semi-aquatic species of turtle, in baskets within their luggage, the Customs Deputy Assistant Director Zulkurnain Mohamed Yusuf told media.

The total value of the haul was over $12,700, he added.

The two men, who were arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) from China’s northwestern city of Guangzhou last Thursday (June 20), had been detained and are expected to be charged, authorities said.

Red-eared sliders are the most popular turtle in the pet trade and are considered an invasive species in a number of habitats, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Malaysia is a major transit point for wildlife trade to other Asian countries. (REUTERS)

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Malaysian bandits possibly behind kidnapping of 10 fishermen off Sabah

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, June 21st, 2019

Malaysian bandits might possibly be behind the kidnapping of 10 fishermen off Sabah on Tuesday (June 18) according to Western Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Western Mindanao Command spokesman and civil military chief Col. Gerry Besana said they are looking at a Malaysian lawless group as the ones behind the kidnapping.

“Kidnappings have been occurring in that area of Malaysia and we are looking at a certain Mameh, a Malaysian lawless group, as the perpetrators,” he said.

On Wednesday, Department of Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told reporters that the kidnapped fishermen might be Malaysians.

“I think these are Malaysians. They were travelling between their boats…we have directed our troops to be very vigilant while they are coming back to the Philippines,” he said.

A Kuala Lumpur-based newspaper said the kidnapped fishermen are Bajau Laut or sea gypsies.

“Unfortunately, kidnapping incidents are taking place in the Sabah side and what’s worst is that [the abductors] are bringing the victims to Jolo so that is why we are the last touch,” Lorenzana said.

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