Speech by YB Phee Boon Poh, EXCO for Environment and Welfare cum Vice-Chairman of Penang Green Council on the 11th of August at Level 31, KOMTAR
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Today, we are here to urge for a collective movement for the upcoming World Cleanup Day in Penang to restore a greener and cleaner place that we all call home.
World Cleanup Day is one of the biggest civic movements of our time, uniting 191 countries worldwide for a cleaner planet. This special day is not only about cleaning up, it is also a strong and unique movement that shares the dream of a waste-free world for everyone. In conjunction with the World Cleanup Day that falls on the 17th September this year, we also celebrate the International Coastal Cleanup Day to further emphasize the importance of a clean environment for a healthier life.
Penang’ first cleanup event started 9 years ago, it was called the Cleaning Gurney 2013. Every month, there is also a group of active volunteers and communities that are dedicated in beach cleanup activities. Aligning with Penang2030’s vision to build a Green and Smart State that Inspires the Nation, we encourage everyone to be a part of this global movement because each of us has a role to play in protecting our Mother Earth for our future generations.
Unfortunately, what we often hear from 8 billion people is: “It’s just one straw”. Cleaning up is definitely not a forever solution for a cleaner environment if people do not ditch the habit of littering. We need to close the tap to stop the waste from going into our environment, especially single-use items such as plastic bags, straws, packaging and cutleries, as these are the most common waste that people trash or leave in the environment.
I am proud that Penang State has various green campaigns and policies to reduce waste and to empower our citizen since 2008. The State Government has not given up its mission to reduce waste and to slowly phase out single-use plastic in Penang as we implemented “Waste Segregation at Source Policy” in 2016 and “No Free Plastic Bag” every Monday back in July 2009 till today. Don’t let your convenience ruin our environment. Be responsible to your waste, take the lead and make the change.
Environmental education is important and we will never stop this mission to enable, empower, and enrich our people to be a part of this change. Today, we are happy to see more community leaders that are willing to stand up and take the challenge to make a change. Congratulations to Aimpactz Social Enterprise for organising the upcoming cleanup activities and thank you PGC, MBPP, and MBSP for supporting this effort. I hereby wish the Penang World Clean-up Day event a great success. Continue to inspire people, make the change that you wish to see in the world.