Penang launches ‘green citizens’ initiative


The Penang state government has made a commendable move to launch a green citizens initiative.

It launched a one-month registration drive on Saturday to register Penangites who would have to pledge to adhere to 10 green initiatives:

  • work to save water,
  • conserve electricity,
  • support the anti-smoking initiative,
  • reduce plastic bag usage,
  • stop open burning,
  • stop littering,
  • work to reduce one’s carbon footprint,
  • cut down the use of polystyren
  • help create a caring society and
  • observe the 3Rs – Reduce, Recycle, Reuse.

This initiative comes on the heels of the criticism over what is going on in the Botanic Garden.

This initiative, however, is not enough. You are not green unless your food is green.

A study of the population in Cardiff, Wales has shown that the biggest impact on the environment comes from the choices we make in the following areas (in this order):

  • the food and products we buy
  • the energy we use
  • our mode of travel
  • the infrastructure which surrounds us
  • the waste we produce

Most of our food supply comes from far away – a high carbon footprint – so it cannot be considered green.

Just as important as a green citizens initiative, we also need a green government initiative. Many government decisions and policies affect the environment in a big way over the long term. Such a green government initiative would:

  • resist the urge to pour concrete and tar and erect concrete structures everywhere (e.g. Botanic Garden) and instead allocate more space for greenery,
  • introduce a sustainable agriculture policy that promotes self-sufficiency and food security, encourages people to grow their own food, and facilitates the setting up of community organic gardens,
  • introduce more effective and independent procedures for environmental and social impact assessment and traffic dispersal studies for all significant projects,
  • stop all land reclamation that results in erosion and sedimentation/siltation,
  • promote public transport and create a more conducive setting for pedestrians and cyclists (rather than putting in place infrastructure for highways and ring roads for private motor vehicles),
  • ensure that developers abide by density and zoning requirements (especially under the Local Plans) that do not result in Penang becoming a concrete jungle,
  • improve the rubbish disposal system (for a start, separate organic waste from non-organic waste),
  • penalise all polluters (including large corporations) that discharge their untreated waste into drains, waterways and the sea and foul the air,
  • turn Penang into a centre for renewable (especially solar) energy research.

These will have a major impact on efforts to turn Penang into a leading centre for green initiatives and sustainable development in the region.

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Until the permissions to keep on carving up the penang hills and building more and more high rise concrete monsters are stopped then forget Green Dreams for Penang- It is fast becoming a concrete jungle! The traffic is choking up the roads which are never upgraded and have to cope with the ever increasing numbers of users which they were not built to facilitate. Look at the 1 road to battu ferringhi and yet there are now thousands more residences and STILL BUILDING. shame on all of you town planners and DEVELOPERS!! greeding away our Islands nature to line your… Read more »


How about saving the green forest .. like stooping the Penang Hill and Botanical Garden Projects????

How about saving the seabed and beaches …like stopping all the seaside hig rises???

How about saving the hills.. like stopping all the hillside projects???

Politicians are GREAT THINKERS who find new ways to exploit the MASSES!!!

semuanya OK kot

Anil, if you are interested in a list things to do for energy and water that I have compiled – with no obligation whatsoever – please let me have your e-mail address.

Ong Eu Soon

What we need is a green government initiative 1) No wanton hill cutting and hill slope development 2) No indiscriminate sea reclamation 3) No ad hoc piecemeal approach development that threaten to destroy our environment 4) No high density development without mass transit support that create urban slums 5) No stealing of public lands and open space 6) No landfill dependent waste disposal system 7) No stupid politicians who can’t take care of our beaches 8) No high impact development that threaten to change our landscape into a concrete jungle. 9) No wasting of public fund on white elephant 10)… Read more »

semuanya OK kot

Everything you listed is already being espoused and claimed as the practice by those in power. Thanks to clever creation of acrimony and to repressive laws, it remains theory. As a simple example, on a weekend, if there was a properly designed (to be safe) playground in your neighbourhood, your children could enjoy themselves there with other children from the neighbourhood. Instead, its absence – or mere racist circumstances – may prompt you take them in your car (instead of by public transport) to a park elsewhere or to a shopping mall. The latter will reinforce the culture of consumption.



Lets start campaign ” Only Penangnite as CM!!!”” ..
Only these perhaps will save Penang from environment trajedy which was commenced by BN and being completed by DAP!!!



Dear semuanya OK kot.

Biodegradable plastic bags are already used by big outlets like Tesco.

Unfortunately, such bags are weak and break easily.


Yes, in Selangor we get a certain amount of water free every month since Pakatan took over. This is to compensate for the amount that we have been paying to the pirates of the water industry all these years. It is also to help the poor. Having said that, you don’t hear people running around declaring that now they can use more water because x liters is free every month. I don’t see any reports that says that water consumption has shot up. You’ll be surprised to know that people ARE responsible. The important thing is to produce and sell… Read more »


Reason being, these are very remote locations, where there are only about 100 people in the village. Too expensive to run the National Grid to such places.
So, there seems to be a shortage of power in Sabah on the Grid supply to the major cities and towns.
In Sarawak, there should be enough power generated, but again there is a big distribution issue. So why put up Hydro-electric power dams… let me do some checks on Supply vs Demand


Anil, Gerakan K,
I am happy to share Solar electricity with the rest of interested consumers. Let me collect more data so that we together can assess the reliability, ROI etc. etc. Lets target June 2010 for sharing the analysis. That is, with Anil’s blessing to use this blog 😉

I am glad we can use Anilnetto’s blog not only to ‘Agree to Disagree on Malaysia political landscape but also sharing Saving Earth initiatives. Again, we got to get Anil to agree first, as he is the host of this blog.

Viva for a healthy and interactive Anil’s blog!

Gerakan K

Thanks in advance.


I am wondering why there is a need to conserve electricity if the total power generated is close to 140% of what is required ? One cannot store the excess power so why let all the power go to waste? If you save, TNB gets less income from the electricity they have contracted to purchase from the IPP. If they get less income from every sector, they may request the government for a tariff hike which will burden consumers. Temporarily, TNB should even reduce the tariff for heavy home consumers to encourage consumption and cut wastes. The solution to this… Read more »

semuanya OK kot

Does anyone remember a newspaper article announcing the invention of biodegradable plastic about a year ago? What happened?

Just review your real motives before you acquire, expend or “develop”. This alone will go a long way towards improving the chances of our survival over the next few decades. The planet and the environment will most certainly go on, with or without us.


I am currently working on Green Energy for the Telco industries in East Malaysia, and within ASEAN. In parallel, in East Malaysia, mega Ringgit is being pumped in by the Federal Government for rural electrification (purely Solar, with a small diesel back-up). We are also looking at hybrid systems combining Wind/Solar etc. For Penang, we don’t have that level of Government funding. The payback period for an ON-GRID site is also very long for home installation. Unless you can feedback to the National Grid, then there is some benefit, and reducing the payback period. However at an Off-Grid site, the… Read more »


it should be ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’… in that order. 1. Reduce – Buy less, take less. Always consider before you buy/take anything you don’t really need. If you haven’t acquired anything, then there is nothing that needs to be reuse/recycled. Eg, Even though some events provide free bottled water, bring your own water to the event and refuse when offered a bottle of water there (Don’t be kiasu “Free water, so must take”). This way, we’ll all reduce consumption of plastic bottles. 2. Reuse – If you’ve acquired something, and don’t need it for its original purpose anymore, then consider… Read more »


If the gov is sincere in addressing environmental issues, then at the least, the gov must get it right! The order of the 3Rs in this post and on the Star article that is linked is wrong. I hope that doesn’t mean the State gov got it wrong too. It is a laugh for the Penang gov to talk about being “green” when it doesn’t understand what does/doesn’t constitute a botanic garden, despite reincarnations of the Penang Traffic Council the gov still doesn’t seem serious about a proper public transport plan, land reclamation is carried out carelessly, poor understanding of… Read more »


i understand you listed the pledges based on the Star reporting. sorry, didn’t mean to be nitpicking. i commented partly to take opportunity to inform/clarify readers on 3Rs too. they’re important coz right observance of the 3Rs will already encompass 6 of the 10 pledges.

thanks again for reporting and providing space for discussion. i’d be interested in a renewable energy discussion. and perhaps a similar public transport discussion too…


1. Biodegradable plastic is a feel good dangerous bluff. It disintegrated into small pieces. If the bag is wrapping some food, it is so hard to saperate the pieces of plastics from the food. And when this food with plastic bits goes into cooking – that is big health problem. The lady in my home complains!
2. My home has just installed solar panel roof. It will be begin to manufacture electricity to sell back to Tenaga in April. Anybody want to know more can get my email from Anil.
Hehehe how is that for reducing carbon footprint?

Gerakan K

This is a good idea !!! Can you collaborate with this blog owner and provide us the comprehensive info (eg the pricing, picture, where to buy, how to install, the contractor info, etc). Please guide us towards the pure green energy.

Stop any argument now. I think everyone must start using this solar power.

p/s: hello blog owner, please don’t let this guy running away before sharing with us the solar power info. Threaten him with environmental responsibility, permanent ban in commenting this blog, etc if he refuse to share with us.

semuanya OK kot

The biodegradable plastic I mentioned as invented here is based on alcohol and is water-soluble. The usual bio-degradable plastic is just normal plastic mixed with organic material. When the organic material decomposes, the plastic only disintegrates into pieces.


Sorry Anil, just to comment on DPM, Malay first, second Malaysian. These are the kind of ppl we have in the Government…No wonder Malaysia boleh becomes Malaysia boleow!!

Am amused but not surprised at all. Obama will say I’m black first, then American?

… Now, who and what (he) is has been established and (he’s) not fit to be DPM of Malaysia….period!! Just be DPM of Malay, no?


I am almost there too, perfect 10, he he he !!! Am waiting for the day, hope not too long from now where i can give up my car and rely on the public transport… hence fuel reduction, save environment. Let us work with PR /DAP govt to build a better Penang for all. Since there are so many clever people here, please offer Penang Govt your constructive criticism, ok? By the way, Mr Anil, can you please talk to them do not build more concrete in BG. Thank You !!! Penangites must NOT because our favourite nasi kandar stall… Read more »

Gerakan K

Kee are you in good health ??? If so please read on. Without prejudice, with honest view and never intended to break your heart, I think that Phee really need to “poh chi” from the administration. 1. work to save water my comment: even a caveman know this. What is so special ??? You use more then pay more. But somehow the Selangor government give free water to people. Why ah ??? To encourage usage/wastage ??? 2. conserve electricity my comment: Even our ex BN Minister Tun Lim Keng Yek had reminded us that don’t use electricity like no tomorrow.… Read more »

semuanya OK kot

More points: 1. Plastic has been found to be useful in producing steel, with fuel gas as a byproduct. Our steel-makers, please note. 2. Control the wholesale removal of all branches to reduce trimming, and the felling of trees on public property. 3. The promotion of cars, petrol and related construction is a great scandal. It is a major factor of materialism, debt and compromised principles. 4. Private property can be re-assessed for their overall impact including heat radiation. Those rating well can be given reductions in municipal taxes. Note that reflecting infrared directly upwards is desirable. 5. Disallow the… Read more »


Super! I am almost there doing 8-9 out of the 10!
Where can I sign up to pledge support?
A start is most important, and lets cut across political lines to make Penang a better place.
As we can show success in the 10 – then we can go one step up and add on other initiatives.


I’ve noticed that Penang has seen a tremendous change in terms of cleanliness as compared to many many other states. It is also now probably cleaner than Ipoh which was once known as the cleanest town in Malaysia. Hopefully with this green initiative, Penang will be an even better place for everyone.