Voters urged to return Stampin to BN in coming polls

Dr Sim (fourth left) launches the campaign. With him (from left) are Ismail, Penguang, Lo and Ahmad.

KUCHING: A call has been made to the voters in Stampin to ensure that the parliamentary constituency would be returned to Barisan Nasional (BN) in the next polls.

In this regard, Minister for Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian says this is crucial because with the additional parliamentary seat, development can be channelled to the area much easier.

“Now Stampin parliamentary area only has one engine (Batu Kawah) – if we had two (Batu Kawah and Stampin), the (request for) development for the area could easily be brought up to the federal government level.

“Thus, I hope the residents in this area would make the correct choice, so that we would have two ‘wakil rakyat’ (people’s representatives) who can voice our rights at the State Legislative Assembly, or DUN  and Parliament levels,” he said at Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) ‘No Styrofoam and No Plastic Bag Day’ campaign launch at Emart Batu Kawa near here yesterday.

Dr Sim, who is Batu Kawah assemblyman, stressed that the win must also come with a huge majority.

“For example, in dividing taxes, it is based on the population size – Sarawak only has 2.5 million versus Peninsular Malaysia’s over 25 million. So more of the taxes will be given to Peninsular Malaysia – this is why we need more ‘wakil rakyat’ to voice this out in Parliament to ensure that the development here would be speeded up.”

Earlier, Dr Sim urged all shop owners and hawkers to support the campaign.

He said using plastic bags might seem convenient now, but the ones to pay the price later on would be the younger generation.

It is said that plastic bags take between 400 to 1,000 years to biodegrade fully.

“We need to change our practices. Fast food giants like McDonald’s also do not use styrofoams (polystyrine) and plastic bags; they use alternative packaging. They are of international standards and we should use it as a benchmark.

“Consumers, on the other hand, should bring their own reusable bags to go shopping and bring own (takeaway) containers, instead of styrofoams. ‘Kuetiaw Soup’, for example – normally it would be packed in plastic bag, and the hot liquid would (partially) melt the plastic and (the chemical materials would be) absorbed into the soup.

“This means we are eating plastics – eventually it would be found in our DNAs, change our body’s chemicals and cause cancer. Environmentally, it kills the marine environment and blocks the sewage, causing floods. So we should love one another – do not use styrofoam or plastic. We want everyone to live as long as possible and not get their homes flooded.”

According to Dr Sim, plastics make up to 24 per cent of waste. Individually, the plastic might be light, ‘but at 24 per cent, it is a lot’, he said.

“We need to change our habits. Recycle whenever possible – don’t just throw out plastic. I hope that this would not be practised in MPP areas only, but also everywhere.”

Earlier Batu Kitang assemblyman Lo Khere Chiang, who is also MPP chairman, said the campaign aims to create awareness of the ill effects of polystyrene and plastic on the environment.

“I hope that the campaign would be successful for everyone’s sake. Consumers and traders need to know this as they are the heavy users of plastic bags and polystyrene (products).”

Assistant Minister of Local Government Datu Dr Penguang Manggil, Kuching Resident Ismail Hanis and Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Batu Kawa chairman Datuk Ahmad Ibrahim were present at the event.

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