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Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Saturday, 28 March 2015 14:59

Recycling Centre in the Wake of the Deluge

Written by  Teh Lee Ling, Kuala Krau / Translated by Chong Pei Fen

During the ribbon cutting ceremony, the honourable guests and Tzu Chi volunteers cut the ribbon and then stepped on the aluminium cans and PET bottles to flatten them. [Photograph by Lai Nyok Chan]

In the wake of the massive floods, Tzu Chi recycling point in Kuala Krau has seen increased participation by non-Chinese villagers, as well as, an increase in the volume of recyclables. This has prompted local volunteer, Yeong Kam Lin, to look for a bigger recycling point. Much to her delight, Goh Yin Peng, Kuala Krau’s Village Head, agreed to let Tzu Chi set up a recycling centre on the premises of the community hall.


On the evening of March 28, 2015, 152 public members, comprising 76Malays (including 3 religious teachers), 52 Chinese and 24 Indians, joined volunteers at the Opening Ceremony of Tzu Chi Kuala Krau Recycling Centre and a recycling talk at the Dewan JKKK Kuala Krau.

From knowledge to practice

A few girls from a religious school were seen carrying boxes of cardboards to the venue. Apparently, they have developed better awareness of environmental protection and are putting their knowledge into practice.

The event commenced after a prayer led by Ustaz Roslan Awang Mohamad. Fascinated by the lively rhythm and sign language interpretation of the song, “Everyone does Recycling”, many audience members joined the volunteers in performing the hand movements.

Volunteers also interpreted the lyrics from Taiwanese Hokkien to Malay language for the non-Chinese audience to grasp the meaning behind the song, that is, doing recycling brings good health and dispels worries.

To bridge the gap between the multi-racial audience members, the Master of Ceremony, Chew Siew Leng, conducted the event in fluent Mandarin and Malay, interspersed with few lines in Tamil. While sharing with them about environmental protection, she also conveyed the concepts of “turning resources into gold, gold into love, and love into a stream of purity” and “know your blessings, cherish them and sow more blessings”.

Many were deeply impressed by a footage, which featured an elderly volunteer’s dedication to recycling. At the age of 84, Granny Tan Wee still leaves her house at 7.30 am daily to collect recyclables from door to door; and this has been her daily routine for more than a decade. When asked why she would do recycling without complaint, Granny Tan replied single-mindedly, “I am just doing my part to care for our Mother Earth.”

Pressing need for environmental protection

Despite her limited Malay proficiency, volunteer Yeong Kam Lin braved herself to share environmental protection concepts with the non-Chinese audience members. She recalled her participation in Tzu Chi Recycling Day at Temerloh, together with her husband and a friend, eight years ago. Tremendously touched by what she saw and experienced, she made a vow to encourage Kuala Krau villagers to partake in recycling and protect the environment. With persistent effort, she finally managed to establish a small recycling point in her neighbourhood.

In December 2014, the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia was struck by the worst deluge in decades, and Kuala Krau in Pahang was among the hardest hit areas. Although upset that her house was not spared from the floods, Kam Lin understood and empathized with the victims’

losses. With her husband’s support, she immediately launched disaster relief operations.

She was happy that the villagers are now awakened to the pressing need to conserve the environment and that a recycling centre has finally been established in Kuala Krau, even though it came at a substantial price owing to a lack of environmental awareness.

She was grateful that more non-Chinese villagers have joined the volunteers at the Kuala Krau Recycling Point after the floods. Much to her delight, Goh Yin Peng, Kuala Krau’s Village Head, also showed her support by allowing volunteers to set up the Kuala Krau Recycling Centre on the premises of the community hall.

A cycle of love and kindness

Every day after dinner, Yin Peng will scout for recyclables in her neighbourhood. She hopes that by setting an example herself, she can inspire more villagers to practise recycling. She also placed two large recycling bins in the alley behind her house to make recycling convenient for the villagers, thus encouraging them to do their part.

She felt that recycling not only benefits oneself, but also others.

Bending over to pick up recyclables on the ground helps loosen our muscles, while at the same time, creates a clean living environment.

She admitted, “I felt embarrassed at first, but Tzu Chi volunteers’ fearlessness of dirt and messiness when picking up recyclables from stinky dustbins moved me deeply.” Besides, the unexpected demise of her younger sister has also made her realize that life is impermanent, and that we should not wait to fulfil our filial duties and do good.

Sio Kee Hong, Deputy CEO of Tzu Chi KL & Selangor said, “We hope that through this affinity brought about by the floods, everyone is awakened and will join the rank of recycling to protect Mother Earth. More importantly, we hope that the setting up of this recycling centre can break down ethnic barriers and promote harmony.”

Maimunah bte Abd Aziz, a religious school teacher, shared smilingly, “Before this, I barely had an idea of what environmental protection was about. But tonight, I learnt a lot about environmental protection through the MC’s sharing and have a clearer picture now.

I am a school hostel warden. I will try to sort out recyclables from now on. I won’t be alone as I will also encourage the hostel residents to join me.”

An exceptional opening ceremony

Volunteers also mindfully incorporated environmental awareness in the ribbon-cutting ceremony, where aluminium cans and PET bottles were tied to the ribbon. Kee Hong, Yin Peng and Ustaz Roslan were among the guests invited to do the honour of cutting the ribbon.

This was followed by them stepping on cans and bottles to flatten them; and they were joined by all present doing the same with the cans and bottles placed underneath their seats before dropping them in the recycle bins.

It is hoped that the establishment of this recycling centre, which is a place full of love and kindness, will attract more people to partake in recycling, and to work together to protect our Mother Earth and promote harmony in society.

 

A total of 152 villagers attended the opening ceremony of Tzu Chi Kuala Krau Recycling Centre and a talk on environmental protection. [Photograph by Lai Nyok Chan]   Ustaz Roslan led the prayer before the event commenced. [Photograph by Lai Nyok Chan]

A total of 152 villagers attended the opening ceremony of Tzu Chi Kuala Krau Recycling Centre and a talk on environmental protection. [Photograph by Lai Nyok Chan]
 
Ustaz Roslan led the prayer before the event commenced. [Photograph by Lai Nyok Chan]
 
Volunteers interpreted the lyrics of the song, “Everybody does Recycling”, from Taiwanese Hokkien to Malay so that everyone could grasp its meaning. [Photograph by Lai Nyok Chan]   Volunteer Tan Wee, who has been doing recycling for more than a decade, continues to do the same even at the age of 84. [Photograph by Lai Nyok Chan]

Everybody does Recycling”, from Taiwanese Hokkien to Malay so that everyone could grasp its meaning. [Photograph by Lai Nyok Chan]
 
 
Volunteer Tan Wee, who has been doing recycling for more than a decade, continues to do the same even at the age of 84. [Photograph by Lai Nyok Chan]
 
Volunteer Yeong Kam Lin (right) vowed to lead Kuala Krau villagers to do recycling. [Photograph by Lai Nyok Chan]   Every day after dinner, Goh Yin Peng, Kuala Krau’s Village Head, will collect recyclables in her neighbourhood. She felt that recycling is an act that benefits oneself and others. [Photograph by Lai Nyok Chan]

Volunteer Yeong Kam Lin (right) vowed to lead Kuala Krau villagers to do recycling. [Photograph by Lai Nyok Chan]
 
 
Every day after dinner, Goh Yin Peng, Kuala Krau’s Village Head, will collect recyclables in her neighbourhood. She felt that recycling is an act that benefits oneself and others. [Photograph by Lai Nyok Chan]
 
In the wake of the deluge, Kuala Krau villagers started practising recycling, which led to the establishment of the Tzu Chi Kuala Krau Recycling Centre. [Photograph by Victor Lim Wei Teck]  

In the wake of the deluge, Kuala Krau villagers started practising recycling, which led to the establishment of the Tzu Chi Kuala Krau Recycling Centre. [Photograph by Victor Lim Wei Teck]