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“Thanks for organising a fun event with a noble purpose. Hopefully amidst the laughter and friendships made and found, everyone takes home the important message that Malakoff is advocating. We all have only one earth and one life. Let’s wake up and change our lifestyle/attitude to undo the daily destruction we impose on the environment. A round of applause for the hardworking Committee and the Project Director for an event well organised. Hope to be a part of this again in the coming years.” Huda Yunos, Vice President, Business Development, Al Rajhi Bank.
“Great Job Malakoff team. I learnt some great lessons during the trip.” Tengku Razmi Tengku Othman, IBM Malaysia.
“It was great stuff guys, well done! Please call us again next year.” Sharidz Iswadi Azhar, MRCB.
The day started off early as participants grouped to catch the first a boat ride from Merang to Redang Kalong Resort. The light rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the 71 participants anxious to embark on this 3 day -2 night outing ~ Project Aware 2011: Underwater and Beach Clean-Up @ Redang Island.
A collaborative effort between Wirazone and parent company Malakoff, this environmental conservation project is the latest addition under Malakoff Community Partnerships, the CSR flagship of Malakoff Corporation Berhad.
According to Ezham Abdul Khalid, Project Director, this trip was deliberately organized to involve both divers and non-divers comprising staff of Wirazone, Malakoff and business associates. The objective was to raise awareness on the importance of how inter-related the ecosystems of the sea and land are, and the effective roles we can all play towards conservation efforts.
30 licensed divers took on the potentially dangerous task of removing crown of thorns (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown-of-thorns_starfish for more info) which endangers coral and the reef as a whole. Guided by A.B. Lee, the resident dive master at the Resort, this activity went off without any injuries. Whew & Well Done, ALL!
Non-divers had a whale of a time as well snorkeling and conducting reef checks. This is where they observed the colour gradients of the select types of coral and the various species of fish that thrive in the area. This determines the health of the reef around Redang Island.
Next, all participants were involved in a beach clean-up exercise covering a two-kilometer stretch at the Resort. Removing rubbish from the beach is also vitally important in maintaining a balanced and healthy ecosystem as most of what we throw as rubbish on land will end up in the sea, one way or another.
After being given a briefing and detailed checklist of what to look for, participations set off with gusto! Scouring the beach, they recovered plastic bottles, plastic bags, food wrappers, old shoes, broken air-cond pvc pipes and more!
A plastic bag might not be seen as a dangerous item on land but they pose a huge danger to sea creatures like fish and turtles which mistake them for jelly fish, one of their food source. Very often, these plastic bags end up swallowed or wrapped around the heads of these poor creatures, suffocating them and eventually causing their death!
Participants also learnt making do with less is actually more! Changing less bath towels means less washsoap water flowing to the sea. Less suntan oil means less oil contaminating the sea water. And all of these lead to better water quality, richer marine life, a more beautiful setting and a hopefully stable ecosystem we hope our children and grandchildren will get to enjoy.
This project was made possible by Malakoff as the main sponsor, together with contributions from Wirazone and business associates which included Al-Rajhi Banking & Investment, Asian Finance Bank, Allianz General Insurance, MRCB Environment, Maybank and Sterling Insurance Brokers, and TV3 (media sponsor).
Special thanks again to our Project Director, Ezham & our incredible Committee for the detailed planning and big hearts in making this successful project happen. And as requested by all participants, please call us again for the next project!