Conservation must become a way of life

With the recent hefty increases in fuel prices, it is heartening to note that the Government is now considering comprehensive fuel and energy saving measures, like setting air-conditioners at 26 degree Celsius and turning off room lights during lunch break in all government offices (The Star 4th Aug).

Malaysia is a net exporter of petroleum; but like tin ore, it is an exhaustive commodity and our oil reserves will run out in a couple of decades from now.

The increases in fuel prices are in tandem with the unabated rise in crude oil prices from less than US$30.00 per barrel last year to over US$60.00 now.

With the latest increases, Malaysia has only reduced its fuel subsidies; but as a net exporter, it has, through Petronas, increased it oil revenue.

With additional profit from petroleum export, the Government should embark on a long-term campaign to encourage Malaysians to save energy and fuel. Furthermore, the research on alternate fuel derived from palm oil should be relentlessly stepped up.

Similarly, for water supply in this country and in particular in the Klang Valley - which will face water shortage from 2007 to 2011 due to the protracted delay in the implementation of the Pahang/Selangor raw water transfer project, the ministry responsible for water should have aggressively embarked on measures to conserve water and reduce wastage. If this is not done now, water rationing from 2007 to 2011 would be unavoidable in the Klang Valley.

Besides the usual campaign to advise the consumers to reduce water wastage in their daily consumption, there are other effective approaches that the Government can take to conserve water and reduce wastage.

With water shortage in the Klang Valley looming on the horizon, it is most disheartening to note that the water authorities are still showing an air of complacency and have not even initiated the campaign to encourage the consumers to reduce water wastage.

In conclusion, to overcome the predicament due to scarcity of our natural resources, it is imperative that we make conservation of public utilities a way of life.

Otherwise, it may be too late to lock the stable door when the horse has bolted!


The above was published in The Star on 9/8/05. 2008