KUALA LUMPUR – The authorities must prevent Malaysians from throwing rubbish into rivers by imposing hefty fines in order to keep the rivers clean and healthy, an international water management expert suggested today.
Prof Roger A. Falconer, a Water Management professor from Cardiff University, United Kingdom (UK) felt that was one of the areas in which Malaysia could further improve.
He suggested Malaysia to follow UK’s method to charge the culprits with a hefty fine.
“A lot of people are throwing rubbish into the rivers. It was the same in my country 20 years ago.
“Now if you throw rubbish and you are caught, it’s a very serious fine. One person said to me one day, the fine was not even worth paying.
“Like speeding, if people think they can get away with it, they will speed but if they think they can get caught and prosecuted, they will not. So, you need to toughen up on that.”
He said this to Bernama when attending the ‘Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’ Special Forum at the International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR) World Congress, held at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), here, today.
However, Prof Falconer expressed his admiration for Malaysia’s approach in mitigating floods, saying that the country was on the right track and an example to the world.
“In flood management, a lot of things that you do here is better than in the rest of the world. Many parts of the world could learn from Malaysia.
“When I organised an event many years ago, we talked on how Malaysia dealt with extreme storms. The drains here go a metre deep but ours are not that deep and not designed to face stormy weather.
“The Smart Tunnel and rivers are well managed to face flooding better than in any other contries,” he noted.
On the dams in Malaysia, Prof. Dr Anton J. Schleiss, president of the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) , said Malaysia was a good example for multi-purpose water use as the dams in this country were built with multiple functions such as flood prevention and energy production, apart from for water supply.
“You (Malaysia) are very good compared to other countries; you are an example,” he said.
The (IAHR) World Congress was opened by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday and will end on Aug 18.
Founded in 1935, the IAHR is a global independent organisation of engineers and water specialists working in the field of hydro-environmental sciences and their practical applications. – BERNAMA