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Press Release
23rd Annual Exchange of Visits, 7 – 8 May 2010, Malaysia



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Date Published: 07 May 2010

            As part of the Annual Exchange of Visits (AEV) between the Environment Ministries of Malaysia and Singapore, H.E. Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, visited Malaysia on 7-8 May 2010 at the invitation of H.E. Dato Sri Douglas Uggah Embas, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment.

2           Dato Sri Douglas Uggah Embas led the Malaysian delegation which comprised Dato' Zoal Azha bin Yusof, Secretary-General (Natural Resources and Environment), and other senior officials from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Department of Environment and other Government agencies.

3           Dr Yaacob Ibrahim's visiting delegation comprised Dr. Amy Khor, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tan Yong Soon, Permanent Secretary (Environment and Water Resources) and other senior officials from the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, National Environment Agency, PUB and other government agencies.

4           At their meeting today, the two Ministers reviewed the progress of work carried out by the Malaysia-Singapore Joint Committee on the Environment (MSJCE). There were fruitful discussions and exchanges of views on the following areas of cooperation:

(i) Control of Vehicular Emissions

Both countries had made marked improvement in tackling vehicular pollution and would continue to share experiences on controlling vehicular emissions, such as the tightening of vehicular emission standards and promoting the use of "green vehicles". 

(ii) Joint Monitoring of Water Quality in the Straits of Johor (SOJ)

The Ministers reiterated the need to further improve the water quality in the SOJ. 

(iii) Progress Report on the Monitoring of Ecology and Morphology in and around the Straits of Johor

Researchers/scientists from Singapore and Malaysia agreed to continue the exchange of information on the monitoring of ecology and morphology in and around the SOJ in order to conserve the biodiversity of both countries. 

(iv) Pollution in Skudai Water Catchment

Malaysia will continue to exchange information with Singapore on water quality of Sungai Skudai and actions taken to reduce the pollution.

(v) Emergency Response Plan for Chemical Spill at Malaysia-Singapore Second Crossing

The Ministers commended the MSJCE for having successfully conducted the 7th Joint Emergency Chemical Spill Exercise at the Malaysia-Singapore Second Crossing on 2 Dec 2009. The seventh exercise recorded the largest number of participants to-date. It provided a good opportunity for both countries to test and improve their existing response plan.

The next emergency response exercise will be organised by Singapore, tentatively in early 2011.

(vi) Emergency Response Plan (ERP) for Chemical Spill In the East Johor Straits

A tabletop exercise would be conducted tentatively in June 2010 by Singapore to prepare for the field exercise between Malaysia-Singapore on response to chemical spill in East Johor Straits (EJS) in 2011.

(vii) Collaboration Between Malaysia and Singapore in the Area of Oil Spill Prevention and Control in the Straits of Johor

Both countries had been working together to exchange information to prevent and control oil pollution, including the discharge of oily wastes into the SOJ and also update the existing procedures for Control of Tanker Desludging Activities and Disposal of Tanker Sludge in Malaysia and Singapore. Both countries will explore the possibilities including mechanism of working together to control oil spill in the SOJ.

(viii) Collaboration in Training between Environment Institute of Malaysia (EiMAS) and Singapore Environment Institute (SEI)

The two institutes had conducted several training exchange programmes and planned to conduct more programmes and send officials to participate in each other's programmes.

(ix) Transboundary Haze Pollution

The Ministers reiterated the importance of continuing to work closely through the Sub-regional Ministerial Steering Committee on Transboundary Haze Pollution, involving Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, in strengthening cooperation in tackling transboundary haze pollution arising from land and forest fires.

5           Started since 1979, the Annual Exchange of Visits has served to forge closer environmental co-operation and ties between the two Ministries.

6           Tomorrow, the two delegations will participate in the 23rd Annual MEWR-MNRE Friendly Games.

7           The next AEV will be held in Singapore in 2011.

 

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JOINTLY ISSUED BY:

MINISTRY OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT, MALAYSIA
MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER RESOURCES, SINGAPORE

DATE: 7 MAY 2010

 

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Background Information

MEWR engages our Malaysian counterpart, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE), primarily through the Annual Exchange of Visits (AEV) mechanism. Started in 1979, the AEV was established with the aim to maintain and cultivate better understanding and co-operation between officials of the two ministries.

The AEV includes an informal exchange of information and views between the Ministers on various issues and a review of the progress of work carried out by the Malaysia-Singapore Joint Committee on the Environment (MSJCE). Issues discussed include the water quality of the Straits of Johor, control of vehicular emissions, emergency response plans, environmental training, etc. 

Supporting the AEV is the MSJCE, which was set up in 1991. Co-chaired by PS(EWR) and Secretary General of the two Environment Ministries, the MSJCE serves as a platform to exchange information and experience, and to explore bilateral cooperation on environmental issues of mutual interest.

Over the years, the AEV and MSJCE have strengthened the close working relationship between the two ministries and sustained channels of communications at different levels. The establishment of a MSJCE Working Group (MSJCE WG) in 2003, co-chaired by CEO (NEA) and Director-General (Department Of Environment (DOE), Malaysia), further strengthened the close working level contacts and engagements between NEA and its DOE counterparts. 

To date, 23 AEVs have been held, including the latest 24th Meeting of the MSJCE, 23rd AEV Ministerial Meeting and Annual Friendly Games that Malaysia hosted from 7 - 8 May 10 in Kuala Lumpur.



    

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