Today is the first time in my life I see a mainstream Malaysian newspaper highlights global warming on its front page:

Screenshots of Utusan Malaysia. Fair use. Scanned by Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams.

“Kesan pemanasan global” means “the effect of global warming”. I’d prefer the headline to be retitled “Kesan pemanasan sedunia” but that’s another issue altogether. For the article, it’s accessible through Utusan.com.my:

KUALA LUMPUR 22 Dis. — Saintis tempatan percaya perubahan cuaca sekarang disebabkan oleh fenomena pemanasan global, sekali gus memberi kesan ketara termasuk kejadian banjir di negara ini.

Pengarah Pusat Perubahan Cuaca Universiti Malaya (UMCCA), Profesor Khairul Maini Osman Salleh berkata, fenomena itu telah mempergiatkan proses-proses cuaca sehingga menyebabkan berlaku pelbagai perubahan yang mendadak dalam tempoh masa yang tidak menentu.

Very rough translation:

KUALA LUMPUR Dec. 22 – A local scientist believes that global warming is the cause behind the changing of the climate which is producing profound effects such as the current flooding in this country.

Professor Khairul Maini Osman Salleh, the direction of University of Malaya Climate Change Agency (?) (UMCCA) said the phenomena is catalyzing climatology processes to cause unpredictable drastic changes.

Of note, the article also cites on article on global warming at Wikipedia. And a few days, I wondered the connection between climate change and the magnitude of disaster hitting Malaysia nowadays. For your information too, the IPCC is expected to make a formal connection between climate change and stronger storms.

What unfortunate however is the tendency of the article to make the United States of a scapegoat:

Menurut Khairul Maini lagi, berbanding negara-negara maju yang lain terutamanya Amerika Syarikat (AS), negara ini mengambil berat mengenai fenomena pemanasan global dengan menyokong Konvensyen Kyoto mengenai Kesan Rumah Hijau.

Translation:

According to Khairul Maini, compared to other developed countries especially the United States, this country (Malaysia) places great concern for the global warming by supporting the Kyoto Procotol.

This is a disgusting statement. Not that I’m defending the United States but the statement on how Malaysia cares more about global warming, or climate change in general, than developed countries is untrue on general. Europe, the EU in particular, is the leading supporter of the Kyoto Protocol. Among the developed countries, only the US and Australia that have refused to rectify the Protocol.

If it’s true Malaysia cares more about global warming than other developed countries, then Malaysia should commit itself to the responsibilities of parties to Annex 1 of the Kyoto Protocol, even if Malaysia is not required to be a party, just like a few other developing nations. Furthermore, what has Malaysia done to reduce its emission? What is the emissions standard of Malaysian vehicles? Fuel efficiency? Suffice to say, it does not come close to the efficiency level developed countries are accustomed to. So, it’s outrageous to claim Malaysia cares more about global warming than other developed countries.

According to Wikipedia, in 2003, Malaysia produced 6.4 metric tons of carbon per capita; more than 150,000 metric tons in total. Observe how Malaysia fares in carbon emissions per capita in 2003 among countries of the world, keeping in mind the ridiculous “Malaysia cares more about global warming than developed countries” statement:

Public domain. Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:CO2_per_capita_per_country.png

Nevertheless, this article is important because Utusan Malaysia is a major Malay mainstream paper. The policymakers of this country read it and it does affect the politics of this country, whatever the magnitude might be.

People, make way for green politics. It’s one of those politics that will cut through narrow and outdated communal politics, be its by ethnicity or religion.

One Response to “[1017] Of global warming on the front page of Utusan”

  1. on 26 Dec 2006 at 10:51 LG

    Malaysia did make a lot of initiatives and commitment in trying to improve the state of the environment; but it remains initiatives… things never move.

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