14 Sep Welcoming Speech by Thing Siew Shuen, General Manager of Penang Green Council
Welcoming Speech by Thing Siew Shuen, General Manager of Penang Green Council on 9 September 2017 during the Opening Ceremony of Penang International Green Carnival 2017 at Setia SPICE Arena:
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. A very warm welcome and thank you for your gracious presence at the opening ceremony of Penang International Green Carnival 2017! I am delighted to see all of you here today to take the ownership for this year’s theme – “Against Climate Change Together (Acct), Now!”
Penang Green Council (PGC) is established by Penang State Government in 2011. We started from a group of 3 and slowly transformed to a team of 17. We are rapidly growing, expanding our network and building collaborations with all stakeholders from NGOs, government departments, communities, schools, private sector corporations and individuals to address and resolve environmental challenges in Penang.
I remember our first assignment was to organise a mini Green Expo at 1st Avenue. We know that we are unable to compete with trade shows and food festivals which fulfil the basic necessities of a human being, we admit that green and sustainability are not something you can taste using your five senses in your daily life, you can only feel something is wrong when problem arises for example when the drainage is clogged with rubbish. We tried to make this event as a fun platform for families, not just business sectors. At first, industries did not buy this idea, and then we told them, if the general public are lack of awareness, who do you expect to buy your products? If nobody talks about green and environment in a family, who do you think will understand the noble ideas behind your products? Gradually, more and more exhibitors agreed that ideas and knowledge must be shared with people from all walks of life, especially 20% of the children and youth today, they are 100% of the future. Today, this green carnival has become the biggest green carnival in Northern Malaysia!
This is the 7 th year of this annual event, the second International Green Carnival. For me, carnival is like a book, exhibitors and activities represent different chapters, presenting different stories in the book. There are people, ideas, best practices that we wanted to show you but we were unable to get them to Penang. But I hope today you are reading good books that will enrich your knowledge and eventually enable and empower you to care more about sustainable development that can improve your quality of life.
Despite our shortcomings and limitations, I would like to extend our appreciation and gratitude to new and old friends we made throughout the years – our working partners, sponsors, activity partners, exhibitors, leaders, and also the visitors. Thank you for your continuous support and commitments for making this educational event a success.
With the aim of raising awareness of climate change, my colleagues and I go door-to- door for local outreach with our volunteers to raise environmental awareness in homes, schools, offices and businesses; we also cross borders through forums, seminars and carnival like today to make sure our programmes and events positively impact mindsets and behaviours and make emphasis on environmental conservation.
I hope you find this carnival resourceful and be inspired to tell your parents, classmates, colleagues, friends, working partners, tell them what is important now; think as a global citizen, convince leaders or decision makers in your companies, organisations, governments to reduce pollution and carbon emission, if you are a leader, push your own communities to adopt sustainable practices. There are many things need to be done. If not us, then who?
Lastly, I want to thank my dedicated team members from Penang Green Council and ASC Design who work even during the five days holiday last week. Thank you! Have fun!
Thing Siew Shuen