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Cameron Highlands

One of Malaysia's most popular hill stations; it is well known for its cool weather, hill cottages and tea plantations. A soil erosion study in 1995 found the Cameron Highlands to be the hill resort most affected by erosion in the country, due to the rapid increase in inappropriate development. The study found that the road from Tanah Rata to Robinson Falls had an average of two gullies (the most severe category of erosion) every kilometre. The Cameron Highlands Structure Plan disclosed that between 1950s and 1990s, silt levels in Cameron Highlands rivers increased 11-fold. Various surveys from 1993 to 1996 by the DOE, the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute and the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) found that land clearance for human settlement has caused more erosion than any other activity.

Bakun Dam

The highly controversial and high-risk Bakun Dam project in Sarawak, shelved in 1990, made a comeback in 1995, when Ekran Bhd., a publicly listed company was awarded the project without tender. The construction of the RM15 billion dam is the most expensive privatized project in Malaysia to date. At 198 metres high and 300 metres wide, it is touted as the largest hydroelectric dam project in Southeast Asia. The installation of two 648 kilometers long electricity transmission lines between Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia will be the longest in the world. Despite claims that the dam will provide the cheapest and cleanest electricity, detractors say that Bakun's power supply will actually be more expensive than the current rates.

Agricultural Waste

Amongst the agro-based industries, pollution from palm oil and rubber processing mills is the most severe. Wastes from these industries contain very high concentrations of organic material, suspended solids, nitrogen and phosphorus, while rejected agricultural materials such as straw, leaves and other by-products, which are burned, dumped and disposed of, account for nearly half of all agricultural production. In Peninsular Malaysia, a total of 4.2 million tons of crop residue and 2.3 million tons of livestock waste were produced. Agricultural waste from livestock farms and pesticides and fertilizers constitute the second highest source of organic pollutants polluting our rivers and coastal waters, second only to sewage. From 1986 to 1990, agricultural waste contributed 13 percent of the total BOD pollution load.

Acid Rain

Acid rain is caused when coal or oil is burned, which in turn generate vast amounts of polluting gases. Airborne by-products of certain industrial processes add to the pollution. Rain acidity in Peninsular Malaysia is on the rise and the number of areas affected by acid rain is growing. A Malaysian Meteorological Service (MMS) study shows that Malaysia is beginning to experience effects of acid rain similar to those in such industrialized countries as the United Kingdom, Japan and the United States. Areas most seriously affected by acid rain are Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Kedah and Selangor, while rain acidity in Petaling Jaya and Senai has gone up four times from 1985 to 1988.

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