10 Sep Opening Speech by Lim Guan Eng, Penang Chief Minister cum Chairman of Penang Green Council on 9 September 2017
Opening Speech by Lim Guan Eng, Penang Chief Minister cum Chairman of Penang Green Council on 9 September 2017 during the Opening Ceremony of Penang International Green Carnival 2017 at Setia SPICE Arena:
Good Afternoon and welcome to Penang International Green Carnival 2017, the biggest platform for environmental education in Northern Malaysia. The carnival’s theme this year – “Against Climate Change Together (Acct), Now!”, aims to raise environmental awareness and motivate people to tackle the cause and effect of global warming and create a net impact on fighting climate change.
The carnival is a family day with inspiring educational and awareness programmes and activities. It is a platform to promote green ideas, sustainable solutions and practices, products showcase, technologies and organisations. Penang State Government has a vision of making Penang a “Cleaner, Greener, Safer, Healthier, and Happier”. Since 2010, we kicked start a series of environmental initiatives to promote resource efficiency such as free CAT BUS, No Free Plastic Bags Every day, total ban on polystyrene food containers, giving incentives to green buildings, building cycling lanes and enforcement of Waste Segregation at Source policy.
Penang has achieved the highest recycling rate in the country of 38% as compared to the national recycling rate of 22% and we hope to increase the recycling rate to 40% by 2020. On June 1st this year, we have marked another milestone with the enforcement of Waste Segregation at Source Policy in our quest to make Penang the first green state of Malaysia. In Penang, an average of 1,700 – 1,800 tonnes of waste are sent to Pulau Burung landfill every day. The estimated landfill life span is 42 years if it is equipped with the Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) and could last for 60 years if food waste converter is equipped as well. Waste segregation at source is one of the ways to sustain the environment and to reduce waste generation to the Pulau Burung landfill.
We are the first state to oppose Nuclear power energy plants in Malaysia and will continue to do so. We hope that Malaysia will abandon building nuclear energy plants like Germany. We will not permit any nuclear energy reactors to be built in Penang and the Federal Government has agreed to our decision. Many developed countries such as Germany have gradually opted out nuclear power plants. Whatever the environmental protection and safeguards imposed, the risks are too great!
We had never allowed logging on permanent forest reserves, the only state in Malaysia where not a single square inch has been touched. And we have planted more than 271,000 new trees in Penang since 2008. Penang State Government has also stopped serving sharkfin soup to protect our natural biodiversity. We are well on our way to be the first green state in Malaysia.
Tomorrow, our state exco YB Phee Boon Poh and leaders of the two local government – Dato’ Maimunah and Dato’ Sr Haji Rozali will be meeting you here for a public dialogue on climate change – “Who cares? We care!”. We hope that you will take this opportunity to raise your concerns to help us make better decision for the future. The Carnival is jointly organised by Penang Green Council (PGC), Malaysian Green Building Confederation (MGBC) Northern Chapter and Green Building Index (GBI). Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to Penang Island City Council (MBPP), Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP), co-organisers, sponsors dan partners, the carnival would not have been possible were it not for the strong and continuous support from them.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors for sponsoring the Penang International Green Carnival 2017 to showcase their business’ commitment to the environment and quality of life. They are our main sponsors: Solarvest Energy Sdn Bhd, Sunway Property, Wiitrac Elevator Sdn Bhd and sponsors: Panasonic Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Sulomas Utara Sdn Bhd, Apollo Vista Concept Sdn Bhd, Aim Max Media Sdn Bhd, Sunshine Wholesale Mart Sdn Bhd, Genting Hong Kong & Star Cruises, Ninebot Malaysia, Biji-biji Initiative, Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm, Greenxagon Marketing Sdn Bhd, Cenviro Sdn Bhd, Nets Printwork Sdn Bhd and Koo Bros Production.
Finally, we do not inherit the earth but only borrow it from our children. Let us all ACCT (Against Climate Change Together), Now and make Penang a Cleaner, Greener, Safer, Healthier and Happier State!
Lim Guan Eng