Global Asbestos Congress 2004

Consumers' Activities on Asbestos Issues in Malaysia

Thambyappa Jeyabalan
Consumers' Association of Penang (CAP), Malaysia

Abridged Slide Presentation

The Consumers Association of Penang submitted a memorandum to the Malaysian Government on 1st May 2001 calling for the banning of asbestos. At the same time CAP had invited Barry Castleman as well as T.K. Joshi to lobby concerned Government Departments, Trade Unions, Politicians, etc.

The Department of Occupational Safety and Health Malaysia called for a meeting on the 22nd February 2002, where 24 representatives were present. These representatives were from Government Departments, Trade Unions, Consumer Groups and various industries involved in the manufacture of asbestos products.

At this meeting there was near total consensus on the ban. The one exception was the Federation of Malaysia Manufacturers whose representative was apprehensive about the trade implications and the competitive edge with our neighbours.

The Director General of DOSH ended the meeting on the note that the country was still not ready for the ban and suggested more information be sought before the ban.

CAP followed it up with further letters and there were responses suggesting that the DOSH was working on the controlled use of asbestos. DOSH has invited us for a meeting regarding the same.

The general feeling throughout country is that asbestos should be banned. In this regard we are collecting signature from various segments of the population and intend submitting a fresh memorandum to the Malaysian Prime Minister urging him to effect the ban.

Community Action
Report with pictures on community mobilization to prevent the removal of asbestos roofing from their homes.