Whose rubbish is it anyway?


Should private-sector concessionaires appointed by the federal government handle solid waste management and public cleansing in Penang, effectively removing responsibility for these tasks from the state government and local authorities? If that happens, does it mean Penangites will enjoy a cleaner environment, or the reverse?

The cabinet has decided that solid waste management (SWM) and public cleansing (PC) be privatised throughout Malaysia. Some states, including Penang, are resisting such centralisation.

A National Department of Solid Waste Management has been established and is responsible for deciding policies, plans and strategies for management of solid waste and public cleansing and other related matters. In addition, the Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation was set up to implement policies and enforce laws. A Services Solid Waste Management Tribunal was also formed to consider claims for any loss or damage suffered, and to collect charges, fees and levies.

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