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New law mooted to dispose of old handphones

18th March, 2016

By PAUL MU Paul@newsabahtimes.com.my

KOTA KINABALU: A new law has been proposed requiring manufacturers to buy back old handphones from customers so that electronic waste can be managed properly.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun who mooted the proposal said that there should be shared responsibility involving handphone manufacturers.

“In order to give some responsibility to the manufacturers, I think there should be a rule or clause requiring them to buy or take back the old handphones,” he said.

So it is the responsibility of the manufacturers to find the best way to dispose of the phones because electronic waste is hazardous to the environment and our health due to the presence of toxic materials, he said when witnessing the oath of office taking ceremony of the newly formed Sabah Construction and Domestic Waste Management Association (SCDWM) at a hotel yesterday.

“There is a need to pass a law in Parliament because we need to take concrete measures and decisions to solve the electronic waste problem because right now we don’t know where to dispose them,” said Masidi.

The call for the proper management of electronic waste was discussed at the Basel Convention since 2002. Not only that, old personal computers and other electrical and electronic equipment also becomes electronic waste when appliances are upgraded, he said.

“We need to question ourselves especially the government what are you going to do because we need relevant law to manage it and we cannot let our children to inherit the electronic wastes.

“I hope the relevant authorities would take my suggestion seriously as this is for the benefit of the country and our future generations,” said Masidi.

Besides that, he also reiterated his call to the public to keep the state clean because Sabah is a well-known tourist destination in the world.

Masidi lamented the public still continue to dump their rubbish indiscriminately despite his repeated calls and hope they could change their attitude because cleanliness is very important to promote the state tourism industry.

“We must take the initiative to clean up our surrounding areas to show our love and patriotism to the state and we cannot rely on City Hall to do the job for us all the time. We need to educate the people to contribute in making our city clean,” urged Masidi.

Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai who was one of the guests at the swearing-in ceremony hoped the newly formed association could work together with all concerned operators and developers to minimise the disposal of solid waste in the city and its surrounding areas.

SCDWA president Steve Yeo Lip Koh said the aim of the association is to preserve the environment and creating a greener future and promote the ‘No to Illegal Dumping’.

“Illegal dumping especially construction and domestic wastes is one of the major problems of improper waste management diminishing the quality of life and liveability of the surrounding as well as affecting the natural environment,” said Yeo.

He said the hazardous waste such as asbestos from construction residue and mercury from discarded electronic were not only blocking the waterway but could create flooding too.

“This could lead to serious water pollution affecting the human health and natural living. The improper handling of used tyres would also create a breeding ground for mosquitoes,” said Yeo.

He pledged SCDWA would cooperate with both local government and private organisations to develop and implement strategists and plan to create public awareness and eliminate illegal dumping issue.

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