Envisioning a greener and cleaner Kampar

From left: Lim, Dr Kwan, Khairul, Dato’ Nolee, Prof Choong and Rafidi launching the “AVENIR – The Future”

Following the success of the environmental awareness workshop organised in March 2016, the Built Environment Society (BES) of UTAR Kampar Campus teams up with the Kampar District Council (Majlis Daerah Kampar, MDKpr) and the Persatuan Kuasa Hijau Kampar (Green Power Society) for the first time to launch a two-day environmental awareness campaign titled “AVENIR – The Future” at Sports @ Grand Kampar from 8 to 9 July 2017.

Held in conjunction with the state’s “Perak Yang Bersih” campaign, one of AVENIR’s highlights was the effective microorganism (EM) mud ball project, in which the public experienced making and throwing mud balls into the lake.

The opening ceremony held at the Kampar Basketball Association Basketball Court in Kampar’s old town was attended by Chairperson of the Committee of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Multimedia and Communications Dato’ Nolee Ashilin binti Mohammed Radzi, MDKpr President Khairul Amir bin Mohamad Zubir, UTAR Vice President for Student Development and Alumni Relations Prof Dr Choong Chee Keong representing UTAR President Ir Prof Academician Dato’ Dr Chuah Hean Teik, Council Member of MDKpr Rafidi bin Mohd Razali, General Manager of Grand Kampar Hotel Shirllay Cheong representing Grand Kampar Hotel Director Hew Fen Yee, UTAR Faculty of Engineering and Green Technology (FEGT) Deputy Dean for Academic Development and Undergraduate Programmes Ir Dr Ng Choon Aun, FEGT’s Department of Construction Management Head Dr Olanrewaju Abdullateef Ashola, BES Advisor Dr Kwan Wai Hoe and “AVENIR – The Future” Organising Chairperson Lim Wei Shen.

According to Prof Choong, he is proud that the UTAR students are aware of the importance of clean water via environment conservation and proactively working with various parties such as MDKpr and Green Power. He said, “This campaign will introduce to the public the use of the effective microorganism mud balls to purify the lake, river, sea or ponds. This will encourage more people to be aware of how essential it is to have a pollution-free environment and the need to come together to protect the environment.”

Council President Khairul concurred and mentioned that it is MDKpr’s wish to transform Kampar into a clean, green and sustainable town. “MDKpr lends its support to this programme because it’s a platform to raise awareness and it encourages the public to work collectively to conserve the environment,” said Khairul, who also added that “AVENIR – The Future” is also in line with one of the seven activities outlined by the “Perak Yang Bersih” campaign roadmap.

Dato’ Nolee expressed her gratitude for being invited to the launch and also wished that the campaign will be a successful one to generate a positive impact among the community. She enthused, “I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude and well done to the organising committee for their hard work and perseverance in making this event a success. I was told that the organising committee also conducted a series of road shows and workshops at a total of eight schools in Kampar, with the aim to create environmental awareness among the school students. I’m always proud to see the UTAR students engaged in various community projects that give enormous benefits to local community especially Kamparians. For that, once again, I would like to thank UTAR for being a university that nurtures its students to be community oriented.”

Dato’ Nolee along with other participants trying their hands on making the EM mud balls.

This was followed by the highlight of the event which saw Dato’ Nolee along with other VIPs and participants witnessing the process of mud balls making and soon after that joined in a tree planting ceremony at the Kampar Basketball Court. The opening ceremony reached its milestone when the invited guests, participants and organising committee threw the mud balls into the lake at Kampar old town.


Khairul (left) and Dato’ Nolee planting a tree which signifies a greener Kampar.

The guests and organising committee throwing the mud balls into the lake.

Throughout the campaign period, “AVENIR – The Future” had a rich array of activities with embedded messages of environmentalism. The activities included the simulation exhibition, colouring competition for primary students, tug-of-war competition for secondary and university students, plastic and polystyrene-free trade bazaar and others which were all held at Kampar new town’s Sports @ Grand Kampar from 8am to 11pm.

The closing ceremony of “AVENIR – The Future” was held at Sports @ Grand Kampar on 9 July 2017 and was attended by Chairperson of the Committee of Education, Science, Environment and Green Technology Dato’ Dr Muhammad Amin bin Zakaria. Also present at the ceremony were Council President Khairul, Prof Choong, Green Power Society President Daniel Wa Wai How, Dr Olanrewaju, Dr Kwan and Lim.

Dato’ Amin (right) trying his hands on making the EM mud balls after the closing ceremony.

Dato’ Amin (right) witnessing the simulation exhibition conducted by the organising committee.

Colouring competition for schoolchildren in progress.

High winning spirit from tug-of-war contestants.

Thanking everyone for the support, Lim said, “AVENIR means “the future” in French, echoes the campaign’s wish to spread the message to the public to take care of the environment for the sake of our future generation. The campaign’s main objective is to raise environmental awareness among the public and enable more people to understand the use of EM mud balls in purifying the lake, sea, river or ponds. Only a handful of people understand how mud balls help in water purification and this has prompted us to popularise the knowledge of EM mud balls through education.” He is proud that the campaign has served its purpose and hopes that it will continue to encourage and inspire many to care for the environment.

Dr Kwan said, “The programme served as a platform to enrich the participants’ knowledge of the purpose of EM mud balls, the making process, and its contribution to lake rehabilitation. We are proud to say that as of today, we have successfully produced and thrown approximately 13,000 muds balls into the Kampar old town lake. We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to MDKpr for being our collaborator and Grand Kampar Hotel for being our strategic partner for this event.”

Dato’ Amin in his closing speech said, “Thank you UTAR and MDKpr for inviting me to be part of this meaningful community project. This is indeed a project that is very much relevant to one of my portfolios, which is the environment and green technology, and I am glad to see the UTAR students keen to spread the environmental knowledge to the youngsters and the local community. MDKpr is indeed very lucky to have a university like UTAR to collaborate with, in which various projects that benefit local community are able to be carried out. This campaign is indeed a good platform for all the participants to learn and educate themselves about the importance of green, clean and sustainable environment.”

Prior to the event, the organising committee’s effort to heighten the awareness of EM mud balls usage was further intensified through their visit to eight primary and secondary schools in Kampar. During the visits, environmental talks were delivered and mud balls making workshop were held, thus deepening the students’ understanding about the importance of preserving the environment and also the effectiveness of EM mud balls. The workshops also successfully generated 13,000 mud balls which were used to purify the lake. Such initiative has also drawn interest from a nearby community, such as Jeram where the residents approached the organising committee to give a workshop on enzyme and mud ball making at their residence.

Grand Kampar Hotel is the strategic partner for “AVENIR – The Future”. Besides that, funds raised throughout the campaign will be channelled to AVENIR’s sole beneficiary partner, World Vision Malaysia’s Water & Healthcare Project.

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A group photograph of organising committee to mark the end of the campaign.

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