James Kon, Daniel Lim & Aziz Idris
In conjunction with World Environment Day 2021, four Cabinet Ministers led the way in a coastal cleaning campaign focussing on marine debris at Muara Recreational Beach yesterday. Similar campaigns were also held at two beaches in Belait and Tutong districts.
Organised by the Ministry of Development (MoD) through the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRe), the campaign – which carried the slogan ‘It Takes a Nation to Make Brunei Environment Clean’ – was held in collaboration with Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD).
A total of 2,785.5 kilogrammes of trash was corralled from all three beaches, 1,309.5kg of which were plastic bottles, 619.5kg general plastic waste, and 853.5kg of other types of rubbish.
Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong; Minister of Health cum co-chair of the Main Committee on Cleanliness Issues Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar; Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II cum Chairman of BIBD Board of Directors Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah and Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar were the guests of honour.
Following the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah and Doa Selamat, attendees sweated it out in a light warm up exercise before the guests of honour launched the Coastal Marvel poster.
Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar also launched the placement of food trucks at Muara Recreational Beach and mingled with food truck owners.
The day also saw the ministers and guests planting saplings before the clean up.
Deputy Minister of Development Dato Seri Paduka Ar Haji Marzuke bin Haji Mohsin, JASTRe Acting Director cum event chair Martinah binti Haji Tamit, Legislative Council (LegCo) member cum Village Head of Kampong Masjid Lama, Pekan Muara, Sabun and Pelumpong Yang Berhormat Pengiran Haji Mohamed bin Pengiran Haji Osman @ Othman, LegCo member Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa binti Haji Ash’ari, British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam John Virgoe, Australian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Tiffany Anne McDonald, Permanent Secretary (Planning, Land Use and Environment) at the MoD Dr Nor Imtihan binti Haji Abdul Razak, Permanent Secretary (Municipal and District) at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) Salminan bin Haji Burut, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Municipal and District) at the MoHA Abdul Walid bin Haji Matassan, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Construction Industry and Development) at the MoD Dr Hajah Norhayati binti Haji Mohd Yaakub, BIBD Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mubashar Khokhar, Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd Chief Executive Officer Chen Lian Chai, Chairman for Environment Project in conjunction with RBAF Diamond Jubilee Lieutenant Commander Mohd Amiel Azim bin Haji Afflon, Village Head of Kampong Serasa/RPN Serasa Abdul Hamid bin Haji Zinin @ Haji Zainin, department heads, senior officials and volunteers from non-governmental organisations (NGOs), banks and private companies also attended.
Meanwhile, the clean up of Lumut Beach saw the involvement of 183 volunteers from the government and NGOs, Scout members, and members of mukim and village consultative councils.
Deputy Permanent Secretary (Corporate and Law) at the MoD cum guest of honour Aidila binti Haji Mohamad Salleh joined in the activities lined up for the day.
LegCo member and Penghulu of Mukim Liang Yang Berhormat Haji Abdul Hamid bin Haji Mumin, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) Haji Mohd Yusree bin Haji Junaidi, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the MPRT Hajah Dahliana binti Haji Aliakbar, Belait District Officer Ramlee bin Haji Jamudin and BIBD Human Resources Head Officer Habibah binti Haji Harry also attended.
The day included a warm-up session, a briefing by JASTRe environment officer Mohd Akmal Fikry bin Yusra and sapling planting.
In Tutong District, over 100 people rolled their sleeves up for the campaign at Danau Beach.
Permanent Secretary at the MoD cum guest of honour Ir Haji Amer Hishamuddin bin Pehin Orang Kaya Amar Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Haji Zakaria joined LegCo member cum Penghulu of Mukim Telisai Yang Berhormat Haji Ramli bin Haji Lahit, senior government officials, Tutong District Office personnel, BIBD representatives and volunteers participated in the event.
Ir Haji Amer Hishamuddin launched the Coastal Marvel poster with a ribbon cutting, before the event continued with a Zumba session, sapling planting and beach clean-up.
A BIBD statement quoted Mubashar Khokhar as saying, “Being the nation’s largest Islamic financial institution, our participation at the event today signifies our commitment and drive to support sustainable environment activities fully aligning our business values with the UN SDG that the nation has been supporting since 2015.
“BIBD will continue to step up its efforts and commitment in encouraging the country to fully embrace green practices and support the goal of creating a green economy by fulfilling the Maqasid Shariah – which has always been part of our DNA.”
The nationwide cleaning campaign under the Main Committee on Cleanliness Issues was launched on June 5 in conjunction with World Environment Day celebration, carrying the theme ‘Ecosystem Restoration’.
The campaign is divided into two: The coastal clean-up campaign (marine debris) led by the MoD, and the clean-up campaign (on land) to be led by the MoHA.
The campaign, which will be held monthly until December, aims to collect baseline data on marine debris in coastal areas, identify the types of marine debris found, and empower the society to instil a sense of responsibility towards protecting and preserving the environment through proper waste disposal methods.