PETALING JAYA: The movement control order (MCO) has proven it is possible to reduce traffic congestion and bring pollution levels down as a result, according to environmentalists.
This, in the end will prove beneficial for the environment and, by extension, people.
Environmentalist Datuk Dr Dionysius Sharma of Green Growth Asia Foundation, pointed out the MCO has shown that work can be done at home.
“We can get a lot of work done from home by using digital tools and technology. This, in turn, reduces the need to commute,” he told theSun yesterday.
Dionysius, who is also former executive director of WWF Malaysia, said once the MCO is lifted companies could conduct town hall sessions with their employees to discuss the possibility of at least doing some work remotely.
“The MCO is an opportunity for us to rethink how our actions affect the environment,” he said.
Like other environmentalists, he believes less human activity could help reduce pollution and changes in human behaviour can be made to keep pollution levels down, even after the MCO is lifted.
The Department of Environment’s data on the air pollutant index for Kuala Lumpur, George Town and Johor Baru showed “moderate” levels yesterday.
Dionysius also pointed out other benefits that can be derived from working remotely.
“With fewer people in the office it reduces the amount of space used by businesses and that cuts costs,” he said.
He added companies could also share facilities such as desks and meeting rooms.
“The MCO should not become a futile episode in our history. We should learn from it and translate what we’ve learnt into new behaviours,” he added.
Founder of EcoKnights Yasmin Rasyid said the MCO was proof the collective actions of all citizens could lead to a negative impact on the environment.
“Many believed that it was up to the government or non-governmental organisations to reduce pollution, but the reduced API during the MCO has shown that we are all responsible,” she said.
Yasmin added the people could rethink events such as the Ramadan Bazaar.
“Events like bazaars generate lots of plastic and organic waste. Now people will have to resort to deliveries, which could be a possible solution in the future too.
“Plastic and organic waste leads to most of the pollution in Kuala Lumpur rivers,” she said.