Friday, August 26, 2016

PATSE on a state wide campaign to promote Anti-Litter and 3R in Perak

Aug 26, 2016 by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Richard Ng


Perak has joined other states namely Selangor, Penang, KL, Johor and Malacca, to ban the use of biodegradable containers especially polystyrene effective 1st June 2017. This does not augur well for the Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association (MPMA) members who have strongly objected such move as it will affect the members of the industry.




During a forum on plastics jointly organised by Ipoh City Watch (ICW), MPMA (Perak Branch), Perak SWCorp, Ipoh City Council and Koperasi Alam Hijau Perak Berhad (KOHIJAU) held at a local hotel in Ipoh, Datuk Rusnah Kassim, the Perak State Exco in charge of Local Government, who officiated the forum, has thrown a challenge to MPMA to prove two things; how plastics could be reduce plastics from going to the landfills, illegal dumpsites and beaches and what solution MPMA can offer to help reduce the impact of plastics on our health and environment. At the moment, the Perak government stood firm on its decision to ban the use of polystyrene and plastic bags effective 1st June 2017.



As one of the four panelists during the forum entitled “The Impact of Plastics on the Sustainability of Environment: Should Plastics be banned?” attended by about 200 participants, I put forward our points from ICW that we supported the government’s move in banning the use polystyrene and plastic bags. I made my points cleared that by 2020, if nothing is done by us, Perak will generate 3 billion tonnes of garbage of which 450,000 tonnes or about 15% of the total garbage, comes from plastics. As plastics take a few hundred years to degrade thus it will have impact on the sustainability of our environment. Plastics are also made from petroleum which is a non-renewable source of energy.



The general perception of the people is that chemicals used to make plastics can leech into the food after a prolonged used at certain temperature even though there is no concrete evidence to support this at the moment. Moreover, plastics such as polystyrene and plastic bags can be recycled as claimed there is lack of interest from the public to collect such items as recyclables due to its low value.

At the end of the forum, all the four panelists have agreed that we should give the 800 members of MPMA Perak Branch a chance to prove themselves to help find a solution to the challenge thrown by Datuk Rusnah Kassim. Thus moving forward, ICW, using its recycling unit KOHIJAU, has set up the Perak Action Team for a Sustainable Environment (PATSE) in collaboration with Perak MPMA, Perak SWCorp, Rukun Tetangga Jelapang and Lions Club of Perak Silver State. The main objective is to come out with action plans which will help educate, engage and excite the people to involve and embrace 3R (Reuse, Reduce & Recycle) and promote a clean and healthy environment.





Among the members of PATSE include Associate Professor Dr. Richard Ng (Chairman), Johnson Poon (MPMA), Puan Hajah Fatimah Ahmad (SWCorp Perak), Thinakaran Sarangabanly (Rukun Tetangga), Lim Hong Lian (Lions Club of Perak Silver State), and social activist and environmental researchers, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tan Chin Seong, Dr. Lai, Dr. Subarna, Dr. Raj Paramjothy, Olivia Cheah and Sharon Ng Kar Mei.

The team will go on a state-wide campaign starting with a gotong royong cum 3R talk in the District of Mualim in October. YB Datuk Rusnah Kassim, has been invited to officially launch the programme. Other districts which PATSE has identified include Batang Padang, Manjung, Kinta and Larut Matang Selama.

PATSE will also hold talks in schools and with any organisations that are keen to participate in this programme. They will be briefed on 3R, garbage separation and composting in order to reduce garbage from going to the landfills or oceans. KOHIJAU will supply recycling bins to participating schools, organisations and residential associations and buy all recyclables collected.


For further information, kindly visit www.ipohcitywatch.org or whatsapp 013-5330989 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Smart way to retire comfortably - The Star

27 July 2016 by Grace Chen


Ong explaining to the audience on saving for retirement at Menara Star Petaling Jaya

Only 21% of us are financially prepared to retire. The rest may not have enough funds to continue to live the way they do after 60 when full-time employment ends, says Private Pension Administrator (PPA) chief executive officer Datuk Steve Ong.
“To most of us, retirement means finally having time for family and a chance to pursue one’s hobbies and interests.
“But when you retire, you also stop working and that means you will no longer be earning,” said Ong at a talk at Menara Star, Petaling Jaya.
The talk, titled “Take Charge of Your Retirement Now” was organised by Star Media Group and presented by PPA and Kenanga Investors.
Common sense should have rightly prompted the building of a nest egg but consumptive behaviour has taken over the virtues of thrift and conservation.

“They assume their Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) savings will be enough or their children will care for them,” said Ong.
One of the worst cases he has seen of what can happen to the elderly who had to depend on others for financial support is being abandoned by their children to beg on the streets.
“There is a difference between being young and broke and being old and broke,” warned Ong.
“I have people saying they are fully maxed out with monthly payments and cannot afford to put any money aside for their retirement. But they forget about their yearly increments and bonuses.
“Instead of spending more, this is extra money that can be saved,” said Ong.
Stressing the importance of savings for old age, Ong said retirement schemes started gaining prominence a decade ago when the ETP (economic transformation programme) revealed that solutions had to be found for our ageing population’s healthcare and wellbeing.
“We need people to take active responsibility instead of just assuming their EPF contributions would be enough.
“Sadly, people usually exhaust their EPF savings within five years,” said Ong.
The best way to save for one’s retirement is to start now and to do it regularly, he added.
For adequate retirement income, a conservative projection is a minimum of one-third of one’s monthly pay now to replace two-thirds of the last drawn pay at retirement.
The good news is that if you are an EPF contributor, you are saving at least 23% for your retirement.
However, there is still a shortage of 10% from the minimum 33% of monthly savings to build a retirement nest egg.
One way to complement this is through the private retirement scheme (PRS), a voluntary savings and investment scheme introduced in Malaysia in 2012.
PRS makes up the third pillar of Malaysia’s multi-pillar pension framework and providing the central administration is the PPA.
The end of the talk saw four lucky participants walking away with a contribution of RM500 each presented by Kenanga, a PRS provider.
For more information, log on to www.ppa.my

Push to get people to recycle - Star Metro Perak

2 August 2016 By Manjit Kaur




A TEAM has been formed in Perak to educate the public to embrace recycling in order to reduce the use of plastic bags and polystyrene containers.
Ipoh City Watch (ICW) President Prof Dr Richard Ng said the main objective of the committee, known as the Perak Action Team for a Sustainable Environment (PATSE), would be to focus on the 3Es – Educating, Engaging and Exciting the public to practise the 3Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle.
Ng, who is the chairman for the action team, said the idea to set up the body was mooted after a forum by ICW was held to discuss the state government’s decision to ban plastic bags and polystyrene containers beginning next June.
During the forum titled “The Impact of Plastics on the Sustainability of Environment: Should Plastics be Banned?” held last month, State Executive Councilor Datuk Rusnah Kassim a challenged the Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association (MPMA) to come up with a convincing proposal for the state government to reconsider the decision on the ban, as currently the state stands firm on the decision.
Ng said the action committee comprises members of ICW, MPMA, state Solid Waste Management and Public Cleanliness Corporation (SWCorp), Koperasi Alam Hijau Perak Bhd (Kohijau), local councils, and representatives from the state government.
He said at the end of the forum the panelist agreed to giving the 800 members of MPM’s Perak branch a chance to prove themselves on finding a solution to the challenge by Rusnah.
“The action team will go on a statewide campaign, starting with educational road shows during the monthly Car Free Day event.
“We will also hold talks in schools, and work with any organisation which is keen to cooperate with us,” he said recently.
During the forum last month, MPMA President Datuk Lim Kok Boon urged the state government to educate the public about waste management and littering instead of banning the use of plastic bags and polystyrene containers.
Lim said the more importance should be placed on the 3Rs, something that is done in more developed countries.
Ng said ICW is concerned about the impact of plastics on the environment, but also sympathises with MPMA’s members as the banning of plastics bags will affect their revenue.
Ng said, as one of the four panelists for the forum, ICW supports the government’s move in banning the use of polystyrene and plastic bags effective June 1, next year.
“I made my point clear that by 2020, if nothing is done, Perak will generate three billion tonnes of garbage, of which 450,000 tonnes or about 15% of the total garbage consist of plastics.

“Plastics takes a few hundred years to degrade and this will impact the sustainability of our environment. Plus, plastics are made from petroleum which is a non-renewable source of energy,” he added.





Proposal to install CCTVs in front of shops in KL - The Star

2 August 2016


Amin Nordin browsing through the contents of Hello KL e-magazine at its launch at Dataran Undrgrnd, Kuala Lumpur. With him are (from left) Malaysian Association of Tours and Travel Agents president Datuk Hamzah Rahmat and Mitra Malaysia Sdn Bhd Tunku Datuk Seri Iskandar Tunku Abdullah.


KUALA Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) is mulling over the idea of making it compulsory for business premises to install closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) facing their entrances.
Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz said it would help capture footage of crimes that take place along the walkways for police investigation.
“Although DBKL has installed more than 1,000 CCTVs in the city, they mostly face public roads.
“Many shops in developed countries have CCTVs which provide important evidence and give the police leads and deter crime.
“We had a discussion with the Government’s Public-Private Sector Special Task Force on Facilitating Business (Pemudah) and are looking at the possibility of including CCTVs as a condition for getting business premises licences.
“We are also looking at possible incentives for business owners,” he said after launching Hello KL e-magazine at Dataran Undrgrnd (sic) during the KL Hari Raya Eid Mubarak Festival 2016 for tourism industry players and tourists on Monday.
Hello KL is a free bimonthly e-magazine that offers the latest news, trends and developments in the city tourism industry.
Amin Nordin said the first issue focused on Kuala Lumpur’s heritage to mark the Merdeka month.
“The articles cover a variety of topics such as the history before independence and the heritage of some of the oldest parts of the city such as Kampung Baru.
“The content is developed with a focus on telling the stories of Kuala Lumpur, promoting tourist experiences and highlighting important information on industry players,” said Amin Nordin.
He encouraged more tourism players in the city to contribute to the content and said they would benefit by reaching out to the audience for free.
Hello KL has been distributed to about 7,000 tourism players worldwide.

The magazine can be downloaded from www.visitkl.gov.my



Bylaws also being drafted by local authorities to get people to recycle - The Star

10 March 2016


(From left) MBPP Urban Services Department director Mubarak Junus, Rainbow Paradise Beach Resort general manager Calvin Koay, Mohd Rashid, Oon and other officials placing used plastic bottles at the hotel’s designated recycle area.


MORE than 100 agents in Penang are expected to apply for recyclable items collection licences once the Segregation at Source Bylaw and Licensing of Recyclers Bylaw are gazetted on June 1.
The state’s Solid Waste Management Unit chief Oon Lai Kuan said the drafts of the bylaws have been submitted to the state legal adviser Datuk Aliza Sulaiman.
“At the moment, there is no law to compel people to recycle, therefore the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and the Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) want to implement both the bylaws.
“The first one is to compelpeople to recycle and second one for recycling agents to have the licences. This way, both councils can track the amount of recycling collections and rate of recycling efforts carried out.
“We will give people some time to get used to the bylaws, but once gazetted, action will be taken against those who fail to abide by them,” he said at the launch of the pilot project for waste segregation at source for the hotel category at the Rainbow Paradise Beach Resort in Tanjung Bungah recently.
Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon said that so far, three pilot projects for waste segregation at source had been implemented.
“The state government launched this fourth pilot project for the hotel category and hopes to make waste segregation a routine.
“Other pilot projects will alsobe implemented in other parts of Penang.
“We will cover all the sevencategories of villages, high-rise buildings, housing project for the poor, housing estates, factories, shopping malls and food outlets/hotels by March.
“The pilot project will be closely monitored and any weaknesses identified will be corrected,” he said.
Mohd Rashid also said the MBPP had allocated RM95.64mil for waste management and cleaning of public areas.

During the launching ceremony, the hotel’s general liaison officer Zainal Basiron said that the hotel collected about 2,000kg of recyclable items each month, which are sold for more than RM800.



Sunday, July 24, 2016

ICW team up with Lions Club of Perak Silver State, RT Jelapang and Kinta AA to help promote 3R

24 July 2016




Ipoh City Watch (ICW) participated in Ipoh Car Free day for the 5th time today. Over 3,000 people converged at Jln Raja DiHilir (Jln Tambun) in Ipoh since 7 am either to have a brisk walking, jogging, participate in Aerobic session or cycling.




For ICW, our objective has always been to make Ipoh the most liveable city in Malaysia. The recent recognition given by Lonely Planets which declared Ipoh as the only city in Malaysia and 6th city to visit in Asia, has encouraged more people to come forward to help promote cleanliness.





Today, ICW was joined by Lions Club of Perak Silver State, RT Jelapang and Kinta Athletics Association to promote 3R. Over 100 signatures were collected within 2 hours from the public. Apart from that we hold placard with messages to get the public to be responsible and to keep Ipoh clean.



Ipoh City Council mayor, Dato Zamri Man, was one of the participants who have always shown appreciation of what we did. He gave his words of encouragement as he cycled pass our booth which is next to the Japanese Garden.




Tuan Zakuan, Ipoh City Council Secretary and Tuan Zulqarnain Ahmad have also dropped by at our booth to pledge for recycling and to support our good cause.




Monday, July 18, 2016

Action Plans On Recycling - Ipoh Echo

16 Jul 2016


Kuala Lumpur has joined other states namely Selangor, Penang, Perak, Johor and Malacca, to ban the usage of biodegradable containers, especially polystyrene effective January 1, 2017. This does not augur well for the Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association (MPMA) who has strongly objected to such a move as it will affect members of the industry.
During a forum on plastics jointly organised by Ipoh City Watch (ICW), MPMA (Perak Branch), Perak SWCorp, Ipoh City Council and Koperasi Alam Hijau Perak Berhad (KOHIJAU) held at a local hotel in Ipoh, Dato’ Rusnah Kassim who officiated the forum, has thrown a challenge to MPMA to prove two things; how plastics can be reduced from going to the landfills, illegal dumpsites and beaches and what solution MPMA can offer to help reduce the impact of plastics on our health and environment. At the moment, the Perak government stood firm on its decision to ban the use of polystyrene and plastic bags effective June 1, 2017.

As one of the four panelists during the forum entitled ‘The Impact of Plastics on the Sustainability of Environment: Should Plastics be banned?’ attended by about 200 participants, I put forward ICW’s points that we support the government’s move in banning the use of polystyrene and plastic bags. I made my points clear that by 2020, if nothing is done by us, Perak will generate 3 billion tonnes of garbage of which 450,000 tonnes or about 15% of the total garbage, come from plastics. As plastics take a few hundred years to degrade, it will have an impact on our environment. Plastics are also made from petroleum which is a non-renewable source of energy.

The general perception of the public is that chemicals used to make plastics can leach into the food after a prolonged used at certain temperatures although there is no concrete evidence to support this at the moment. Moreover, plastics such as polystyrene and plastic bags can be recycled as claimed. However, there is a lack of interest by the public to collect such items as recyclables due to its low resale value.
At the end of the forum, all four panelists concluded that MPMA (Perak Branch) should be given a chance to prove itself by finding a solution to the challenge thrown by Dato’ Rusnah Kassim.
Thus moving forward, ICW, using its recycling unit KOHIJAU has set up the Perak Action Team for a Sustainable Environment (PATSE) in collaboration with MPMA (Perak Branch), Perak SWCorp and Rukun Tetangga Jelapang. The main objective is to come out with action plans which will help educate, engage and excite the people to involve and embrace 3R (Reuse, Reduce & Recycle).
The team will go on a statewide campaign beginning with Kinta District. PATSE will also hold talks in schools and with any organisation keen to participate in the programme.
For further information, kindly visit www.ipohcitywatch.org or Whatsapp 013 533 0989.
Dr Richard Ng
Ipoh City Watch (ICW)