Dr Mahathir Mohamad urged countries to prepare to fight against climate change and the natural disasters it brings instead of starting wars against one another.
He delivered his speech at the 74th UN General Assembly in New York on Sept 27, 2019.
“The world is experiencing climate change. Malaysia is hotter than ever before. It does not seem to return to previous temperatures. In fact, it seems to be getting hotter,” he said.
Typhoons and hurricanes are getting stronger and destroying lives and properties across the world. Melting ice caps in the Arctic and Antarctic are raising sea levels which threaten the existence of islands.
While he agreed that such disasters are part of the natural cycle, Dr M also wondered if the once stable cycle is coming to an end.
“I think, instead of preparing for war … We should be preparing to combat climate change, to bring back the normal environment we had been used to over the last thousands of years.”
He added that, “We are wasting our money preparing for wars, inventing ever more destructive weapons, when all of us may be wiped out by natural disasters as the planet goes through its next cycle.”
In response to the European ban on importing palm oil, Dr M stated that it was a “classic case of the denial of free trade.”
The European Union concluded that the cultivation of palm oil was “unsustainable” as it results in massive deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Dr M addressed the issue and defended Malaysia’s practices in producing palm oil.
“Malaysia will not clear more forests for palm plantations. We are as concerned about our environment as the Europeans. At the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, Malaysia pledged to maintain at least 50 per cent of our land mass under forest cover. We have made good our pledge and better.” -/TISG
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