Open burning is a severe issue that affects both the environment and human health. It is an illegal practice in Malaysia, punishable by fines or imprisonment. Unfortunately, there are still individuals who engage in this harmful activity, including a resident with mental health in Penang Bayan Baru, who is putting her neighbour's health at risk.
The smoke and fumes released during open burning contain hazardous chemicals that can lead to respiratory problems, eye irritation, and other health issues. The impact is not just limited to the immediate neighbours, but it also contributes to air pollution, which has severe long-term effects on the environment and human health.
The fact that numerous reports has been made to the MP office and the Department of Environment is an indication of the concern residents have for their well-being. However, the lack of concrete action by these authorities is a cause for concern. The Department of Environment has the responsibility of enforcing laws related to environmental protection, and it is concerning that they have not taken adequate measures to stop the open burning from that culprit.
The issue of mental health must also be considered in this case. While it is important to enforce the law under Environmental Quality Act 1974. According to the law, open burning is illegal and punishable by fines or imprisonment, or both. The regulations specify that no person shall cause or permit any open burning of any material that produces smoke, ash, or odors that are harmful to health or the environment. Some exceptions apply for specific activities such as traditional cooking, cremation, and agricultural practices that are deemed necessary and have obtained the appropriate permit from the Department of Environment. However, these exceptions are strictly controlled, and any burning must be carried out with appropriate safeguards to prevent smoke, ash, or odor emissions that are harmful to health or the environment. The law also empowers the Department of Environment to enforce the regulations and take legal action against individuals or companies found to have violated the open burning law.
image credit: the Star
It is also crucial to provide support and resources to individuals with mental health conditions to prevent them from engaging in harmful practices.
Moreover, it is time for the authorities to take swift and concrete action to address this issue. The residents of Penang Bayan Baru have the right to clean air and a healthy environment. The Department of Environment, the MP of Bayan Baru and the city council should take action to enforce the law and stop open burning, which is causing harm to the environment and human health.
image credit to : enviro2.doe.gov.my
Besides that,the government should also invest in education and awareness programs to highlight the dangers of open burning and encourage responsible waste disposal practices. Additionally, it is essential to provide support and resources to individuals with mental health conditions to prevent them from engaging in harmful practices.
image credit: Bernama
In conclusion, open burning is a severe issue that affects the environment and human health. The case of the resident with mental health in Penang Bayan Baru highlights the need for effective enforcement of environmental laws and support for individuals with mental health conditions. It is time for the authorities to take concrete action to protect the health and well-being of residents in the area. The government must invest in education and awareness programs to promote responsible waste disposal practices and protect the environment for future generations. What say you?