Extract from “An Unlikely Hero for Malaysia’s Environment”

Wan Junaidi has been instrumental in imposing, and then keeping in place, a temporary ban on bauxite mining in order to allow time for the local environment to recover from the massive damage done to it through helter-skelter open-pit mining last year.

The media-savvy politician, who regularly speaks to members of the press and the public to discuss pressing environmental issues, has also been an articulate and hitherto dependable champion of Malaysia’s endangered animals and their environments, whether they live on land or in the sea.

Wan Junaidi has vowed to get tough on slush-and-burn cultivators by saying he would seek to amend the Environmental Protection Act to enable the government to seize land areas where fires have been used illegally for forest clearing in a bid to try and stamp out the harmful practice once and for all across the nation.

Here’s hoping that the minister will remain a man of his word and will follow through on his ambitious plans to boost comprehensive protection measures for Malaysia’s wildlife and environment. The country’s endangered animals, its beleaguered forests, and its polluted seas, lakes and rivers all need their champion high up in government.

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