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Cleaning up our Act

With cleanliness, good hygiene and appreciation for the environment as part of the social fabric for residents, Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) is working towards creating and increasing awareness and thereon, maintaining this cultural attitude. Increasing awareness and strengthening community engagements are part of the process for the local communities to feel empowered and self-regulated to take action voluntarily, in addition to embedding the importance of a cleaner environment into the general public’s mindset. BDA is not pulling any punches when it comes to keeping Bintulu clean, and is now taking a bold step towards imposing the ‘on the spot compounds’, on top of the other compounds as required under the Local Authorities’ (Cleanliness) By-Laws, 1999. BDA is certainly a Local Authority not to be messed with in its endeavour to keep Bintulu clean.

From a humble fishing village, Bintulu has grown by leaps and bounds in terms of technological and industrial developmental advancement. BDA’s General Manager Rodziah Haji Morshidi, is leading the way to keep the streets of the ‘City of Oil and Energy’, clean at all times. As stated on BDA’s website, “the purpose of this campaign is to ensure that the cleanliness of the environment within the Bintulu Division is always at its best. Additionally, this campaign is also to foster the public’s habits to be more concerned with and responsible for the environmental aspects of cleanliness,” which ultimately will help build a self-regulating citizens within the Division and the State.

Not one to mince words, BDA have implemented an RM15.00 on-the-spot fine to guilty parties caught in the act of littering. Several cases have already been logged and there are no signs of slowing down. Rodziah also mentioned that BDA is taking stern actions on companies and individuals caught for more serious acts of illegal dumping by charging them maximum fines. Quoting one such incident using information through social media, two lorries caught dumping three tonnes of unwanted furniture and building wastes on the Sepadok Road were ambushed by BDA’s anti-litter enforcement team. An amount of RM1,000 fines and other charges will be issued for these types of littering, or court summons to be handed out.

Enforcement teams aren’t resting on their laurels, as they also recently conducted spot-checks at the night market, other petty trading spots and the Tamu in Bintulu. Partnering with the public, improving its public services is crucial for the anti-litter campaign to be successful in the long run. Enforcement teams have the power to impose fines or more severe injunctions to people who do not take heed of caring for their environment. Notifying the public that this movement is fully underway is done via public events, as well as posts on social media and informative banners in public places, such as the banner on display at Bintulu Airport and the Pasar Utama Bintulu. There are many ways the public can get involved to prevent others from committing littering offences or to raise awareness of the campaign.

Last year’s “Make Bintulu A Beautiful City” theme was a successful start that had a wide range of activities to include as many people from all demographics as possible. A mural painting competition saw many youngsters employ their artistic licences to convey their perspective of current and future Bintulu. The beautiful murals currently reside in Bintulu Art Gallery for all to see. In addition, the large-scale mural project on the Hill of Unity, displaying the fauna and flora of Bintulu, is a welcome sight to remind people to love their environment.

While this year’s focus is on campaigns, imposing compounds will also be emphasised and enforcement efforts strengthened. Anti-Litterbug campaign (Kempen Anti-Kutu Sampah), kick-started with the Anti-Litter Walk on Jan 6, 2018, led by Rodziah. Opened to the public, invitation was done through social media, with partnership with the private sector in sponsoring t-shirts and refreshments. The huge turnout at the Anti-Litter Walk was a pleasant surprise indeed! Lots of volunteers flocked to show their support for this initiative and more importantly, for the cause of keeping Bintulu clean.

Rodziah led the crowd to walk from Taman Tumbina to the Bintulu Sentral for a cleaning campaign, a tree planting program and issuing of notices and warnings to dirty food outlets. The crowd was an enthusiastic cohort of anti-litterers that walked the stretch from Taman Tumbina to Bintulu Sentral. The camaraderie was palpable, as establishments even invited members of the walk into the premises for refreshments to keep them hydrated and spirits high. More walks will be organised in order to increase awareness on the need to keep Bintulu clean.

When asked how she felt the walk went, Rodziah had this to say: “I woke up excited and anxious that morning, as I was looking forward to doing something publicly and be joined with my fellow citizens in keeping the streets clean; I just didn’t know how many would actually turn up! I couldn’t believe my eyes though when I got there, a big crowd was already eagerly waiting and many more joined as we walked. The response was fantastic and I cannot wait for the next community event. Maybe this could become a regular event! But we’re just grateful for everyone’s involvement and feel encouraged to keep going. We hope everyone can continue to support us and continue to get involved in our events in the near future, to make Bintulu a better and clean place for all to enjoy.”

For more information, please contact
BINTULU DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (BDA)
Wisma Bintulu, No.1, Tanjung Kidurong Road,
P.O Box 55, 97007 Bintulu, Sarawak.
Tel: +6086 332011 (10 lines)
Fax: +6086 336066, 332255, 315811
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.bda.gov.my

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