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Global Warming and Environ Protection exhibition
Published on: Saturday, January 13, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: The public is invited to a Global Warming and Environmental Protection exhibition organised by the Kota Kinabalu (KK) Tzu Chi Foundation in conjunction with their year-end Blessing Ceremony from Jan 13-14 at the Yayasan Sabah building, here, from 7am to 9pm (Saturday) and 10am to 5pm (Sunday).

Its person-in-charge CK Chong said the programme is aimed to raise awareness on global warming and environmental protection as people are still unaware of the impacts it may have on the planet.

Chong said some 1,500 students from 30 schools – comprising primary schools, secondary schools and higher learning institutes around KK and 1,600 members of the public as well as association members are expected to turn up for the programme.

"The exhibition will feature various booths, including demonstrations on the effect of earthquake, fire and flood, all created from recyclable materials," he said.

On the issue of global warming and environmental protection, he said the planet's ozone layer is getting thinner and there are various disasters and anomalies happening recently, such as the situation in Sydney and Melbourne where the residents could be facing regular 50 degree temperatures due to rising greenhouse gas emissions.

Chong attributed the climate change to various reasons, including from eating meat.

"According to the WorldWatch report in 2009, the global greenhouse gas emission is 13 per cent from transport but it is 51 per cent for livestock. In addition, the amount of food supply land needed to feed one meat eater for a year is 18 tennis courts while a vegan only needs one tennis court worth of land.

"Scientific experts said that if the Earth is to be restored to its normal state, we should stop eating meat.

This is because it causes pollution through cattle farming which includes cutting down a lot of trees as well as the amount of greenhouse gas that is emitted.

"We hope that through this programme, more people can become aware that Mother Earth is getting sicker with every moment and this situation will eventually transfer to the future generation," he said.

Chong said one way to reduce the damage that is being to the planet is by instilling a habit of recycling, adding that according to a report from City Hall, only three per cent of the total waste in KK is recycled.

"People can go to any housing area and see for themselves the rubbish bins full of plastic bottles and other items that can be recycled.

"We urge the public to practice the 5R concept which stands for Reject, Reuse, Rebuild and Recycle so they can start a recycling habit at home and students will learn how to deal with whatever they throw away to be recycled instead," he said.

On a related note, he said they have two recycling centres in Taman Suria and Kolombong, which is open daily to the public.

He said one of the recycle centre has a classroom to educate students about global warming and environmental issues from speakers as well as other matters for free.

Both centres also have second-hand shops for recycled items, where most of the income from the shops will go to the foundation fund to aid the people.

Chong said the association was founded in 1996 in Taiwan by Dharma Master Cheng Yen to help the poor and needy by providing assistance in various forms while the Malaysia Tzu Chi Foundation has been around for about 20 years.

He said there are around 330 volunteers and 13,000 donating members in KK who carry out various charitable activities such as monthly supporting 150 families in aspects of their daily life, financially and food by providing RM400 and RM500 for each family.

In addition, he said they have also assisted 600 students from 50 schools by paying for their school fees, canteen fees and providing them school supplies.

Apart from that, Chong said they also have a Rumah Penyayang in Pitas, which is a halfway house for expectant mothers who have to travel far from the hospital as they can stay at the home and receive medical assistance instead.

He said the home had welcome its 1,000th baby in 2015 and will continue to safeguard the lives of many expecting mothers, especially those who lack access of transport to hospitals or medical centres.

The association also has a Rumah Penyayang in Likas which provides a home for cancer patients who have similar circumstances of having to travel far to hospitals or medical centres, in which they can stay at the home while receiving their treatment.

Chong said their annual Blessing Ceremony aimed to show gratitude to their members and volunteers as well as the families who they have assisted, who will be invited to the programme to share their thoughts.

Also present was KK Tzu Chi Foundation deputy person-in-charge Ong Tuen Yiok. - Jegathisan Sivanesan

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