Wee calls on citizens to reduce harmful plastic waste, maintain Unesco status

Wee (forth right) witnesses as Abang Johari (fifth right) activates a video presentation at the event.

By Karen Bong and Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, Aug 6: As Kuching City celebrates its 34th anniversary of the city’s founding, Kuching South City Council (MBKS) Mayor Dato Wee Hong Seng has called on every citizen to play a role in reducing harmful plastic waste to help in enhancing the city’s environment and sustaining its recognition as a Unesco Creative City of Gastronomy.

Wee pointed out that the introduction of the rice straw initiative across MBKS’ jurisdiction over the past several years has successfully prevented 1.7 million plastic straws from entering Kuching’s waterways and landfills so far.

“We are now asking everyone to help us take this effort one step further.

“Our Kuching Festival Fair (KFF) has banned the use of polystyrene and single-use plastics among all vendors. Our markets and hawker centres are following suit.

“Please do your part in joining this initiative by bringing your own carrying bags, containers for take-away, and drinking from a cup without straw. Support our hardworking traders and hawkers as they raise their own standards,” he encouraged.

Wee said this when addressing the Kuching City’s 34th anniversary celebration which was officiated by Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg at MBKS Square today.

A screengrab of Wee addressing Kuching City’s 34th anniversary celebration via Ukas’ Facebook live broadcast. Also seen is Junaidi (back).

With the Sarawak government shifting its focus to a sustainable environment in moving the State forward through its Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030, the Mayor emphasised MBKS is now planning a research study to monitor the levels of carbon dioxide in communal spaces.

“This is to make sure our air is clean, safe and well-ventilated.

“We have also been working with dedicated NGOs (non-governmental organisations) across the city like Naked Wonders and Worming Up to bring our facilities to modern standards, apart from our buy-back campaign which is very popular in promoting recycling in the community,” he said.

MBKS, he added, is also working on beautifying the city with works to upgrade markets have started and would be expanding to parks and gardens as it aims to make Kuching one of the most livable cities in the world.

As a large number of stakeholders in collaboration with civil society and the private sector had put in enormous efforts to get Kuching City to be recognised at the world stage, Wee stressed that these efforts must continue and enhance to retain the prestigious status, not only as a Creative City of Gastronomy, but as a City of Unity and World Craft City.

“We are working to put our events and activities on a world-class footing and with your help, we can achieve it.

“From gastronomy projects to our shared parks and gardens, we will continue to come together as a city of unity. Even socially distanced, we cannot be separated. It is our collective home and together we are building an inspiring future for the city we all share,” he said.

The event also witnessed the official launching of the Unesco Creative City of Gastronomy logo and PAMSC-MBKS Bus Stop Design Competition 2021 book.

Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Deputy Minister of Creative Industry and Performing Arts Datuk Snowdan Lawan and Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) Datuk Junaidi Reduan were among those present. — DayakDaily