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MACC: Corruption can worsen consequences of natural disasters

Publish date: Mon, 05 Jun 2023, 09:18 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: Corruption will not only stifle investment, subsequently slow down economic growth but also exacerbate the consequences and impact of natural disasters in a country.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Community Education Division director Datuk Razim Mohd Noor said the side effects of environmental corruption are not only limited to loss of revenue due to illegal logging, unauthorised sand mining and wildlife poaching.

Environmental corruption, said Razim, also refers to the failure of the authorities to enforce the laws resulting in the rampant increase of illegal logging activities and encroachment on lands.

"The effects (of such illegal activities) are much more serious than what we thought. It will not only threaten our flora and fauna, but it could also reduce the size of water catchment areas, increase global temperatures and the occurrence of natural disasters such as floods.

"What is shocking is that flooding has happened in areas where such natural disasters have never taken place before.

"Apart from the loss of life, natural disasters can also result in the damage and destruction of public properties as well as facilities. All of this ultimately affects the lives of the community, especially the Orang Asli community with settlement in forest within the country," said Razim in his speech at the Environmental Anti-Corruption Tour 3.0 with the Orang Asli community at Pos Tuel in Gua Musang, Kelantan today.

A total of 230 families from eight villages at the settlement took part in the programme aimed at educating and spreading anti-corruption messages and informing the public on ways for them to report issues pertaining to corrupt practices.

Razim said he was informed that Pos Tuel was affected by floods in 2020, where damaged roads and landslides were reported at 37 locations within the settlement.

"I am sure that this incident affected natural habitats as well as disrupted food supply (to the community at the settlement. This incident must have left people with fear and anxiety," he said.

He later called on the Orang Asli community to do their part in helping the commission to eradicate environmental corruption in the country.

"The commission has in place a number of platforms for the people to report any issues related to corruption.

"I also hope all of you will become the 'agent' to the MACC in spreading the message of anti-corruption.

"Let us work together to weed out this corrupt practice for a nation that is free from corruption," he said.

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