PUTRAJAYA: Enforcement efforts to tackle pollution in Malaysia will be doubled, says the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry (Mestecc).Its minister Yeo Bee Yin said it planned to focus on plastic recycling factories as well as open burning for the first quarter of the year.She added that the enforcement efforts were among the key performance indicators (KPIs) set for her ministry.

“So if last year we had, say, 1,000 enforcement cases, this year it will be 2,000 cases because the reason why pollution is happening in Malaysia is because there isn’t enough enforcement.“So this year, our first step is to assess the number of cases last year and increase the enforcement by 100%.

“To those who flout the environmental laws, I would like to remind you that the government can detain, charge or bring (such perpetrators) to court,” she said at a press conference after delivering her ministerial address to staff here yesterday.Earlier this month, Yeo announced that the ministry was stepping up efforts to mitigate Malaysia’s plastic waste crisis by shutting down 100 illegal plastic waste recycling factories nationwide.

Meanwhile, Yeo said her ministry would also use funds in phases from the Malaysian Electricity Supply Industries Trust Account to those who flout the environmental laws, I would like to remind you that the government can detain, charge or bring (such perpetrators) to court.

To resolve electricity supply problems in rural areas in the peninsula and Sabah.This is to ensure all rural areas will get electricity supply in the next five years.In Cameron Highlands alone, some 1,500 households have been identified while the ministry is in the midst of collecting statistics from other agencies and ministries.

Yeo said the rural electrification would be done without connecting to the national grid.“It will be a decentralised solution as many of these areas are far away from the national grid.

“If we want to connect them to the national grid, then the transmission line will be very expensive.“Therefore, we will decentralise it, or by using micro grids or by fixing the electrical lines on the roofs of houses so electricity can be supplied,” she said.Yeo also encouraged private com- panies to carry out corporate social responsibility by adopting rural villages and helping provide them with electricity supply.

She also announced that the Malaysia Nuclear Power Corporation will be abolished by the end of the year.Earlier, Yeo, in her ministerial address, announced there will be 73 initiatives as the ministry’s framework for the year.The initiatives are divided into three main sectors: energy (20 initiatives); science, technology and innovation (22); and environment and climate change (20).They are supported by five other initiatives in the organisational excellence and six initiatives in strategic issues.More than 150 action plans will also be implemented.