Opening Speech during Green Pinang Award Presentation Ceremony 2016

Speech by Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang and Chairman of Penang Green Council during Green Pinang Award Presentation Ceremony 2016 at Jen Hotel on 4 Nov 2016:

Ladies and Gentlemen.

A very Good Evening. First of all, I would like to express our warm welcome to all the distinguished guests to the Green Pinang Award Presentation Ceremony 2016.

Tonight, we celebrate those who had made a difference in helping Penang to go green either with good practices, promoting education awareness and introducing solutions that is economically viable. As Chairman of the Penang Green Council, I am pleased to meet all the passionate, aspiring green leaders today. All of you here in this ballroom, had made a difference in making Penang a green state by adopting environmentally sustainable lifestyle and empowering Penangites through instilling environmental awareness.
Our awards and incentives pay tribute to organisations and individuals for their significant and sustained commitment, dedication and leadership to promote the conservation of the environment. We would like to congratulate all winners of our awards and incentives.

Over the years, more and more participants come forward and take part in our awards and incentives programs. This year, we received more than 330 entries for six awards: the Penang Environmental Sustainability Award, Penang Environmental Stewardship Award, Penang Green School Award, Penang Green Office Project Certification, Penang Green Journalism Award and Penang Green Video Contest. I would like to express our sincere gratitude to 20 judges who spent their time in assessing the winners of the awards.

There are 54 submissions for Green Video contest, marking the highest entries since its beginning. This year, we have Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival (KLEFF) joining us as our Supporting Partner for Penang Green Video Contest. Winning videos of Penang Green Video Contest 2016 are entitled to participate in KLEFF 2017 directly.

Apart from that, 192 schools have competed for the Penang Green School Award, 22 offices certified as Penang Green Office. We aim at getting all main government offices in Penang to be certified as “Penang Green Office” by the end of 2018 to show that the government is leading by example. As you can see today on your table, we emphasize our Low Carbon Diet Campaign, by serving healthy vegetarian food. This campaign was launched in 2015, aiming to reduce carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions. We introduce four key points to the public; love your local food, appreciate food, don’t waste, stay healthy, and support local farmers.

In Penang, we have taken initiatives to promote resource efficiency such as implementing the “No Free Plastic Bags” ruling for all supermarkets and departmental stores. Those who want plastic bags can still purchase them for 20 cents. Proceeds collected will be donated to the State’s Partners against Poverty Fund. Thus far, we have collected RM5,445,889.84 for the fund from Year 2009 until September of Year 2016. You can save 20 cents by bringing your own shopping bags. Penang has also completely banned the use of styrofoam containers as food packaging. These initiatives have been gradually emulated by other states.

As a state, we are trying things that we can do within our limited resources, I was shocked to learn that the National Budget for environmental monitoring and enforcement activities have been cut from RM105 million in 2016 to RM76.5 million in 2017, a reduction of RM28.5 million or a 27% cut. With such a large cut in the budget, how are the enforcement officers going to carry out their monitoring and enforcement activities against the illegal dumping of pollutants into our rivers by factories and other irresponsible parties? Similarly we regret that the Federal Government has chosen not to continue and complete a RM350 million flood mitigation works at Sungai Pinang.

We take this opportunity to extend our appreciation to our working partners, co-organisers and sponsors: MBPP, MPSP, Lee Video Productions Sdn Bhd, Continental Automotive Components Malaysia Sdn Bhd, PLB Eco Solution Sdn Bhd, GS Paper & Packaging Sdn Bhd, Guppy Plastic Industries Sdn Bhd, Matahari Uniform Centre Sdn Bhd, Popular Book Co. (M) Sdn Bhd, Intel Technology (M) Sdn Bhd, Eastern & Oriental Berhad, Suiwah Corporation Berhad, Mah Sing Group, and Photobooth 0808 for their unwavering support.

Lastly, congratulations to all of you! Great things happen when there is a gathering of great minds. Thank you for your tirelessly efforts to implement Penang’s vision. We hope these awards will inspire more people to deliver excellent commitments in making Penang an international and intelligent city that is cleaner, greener, safer, healthier and happier state.

Thank you.
Lim Guan Eng