Environmentalists have fought a dogged battle with Malaysian politicians and big business interests in recent years. Results, however, have been mixed, as much of the country’s rainforests have been lost to the planting of palm oil and rubber plantations. With an election due, campaigners hope to put the environment, and the damage it has endured, back on the political agenda.
This intention to revive debate about environmental issues was made clear by Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim at a recent rally in Kuala Lumpur. The rally was attended by tens of thousands of supporters who were calling for an end to government corruption and a serious effort to clean up the country’s environment.