KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 — Ringing in the New Year of 2020 and also ushering the new decade in tonight? Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has a tip for you.
In a gentle reminder for those celebrating in Kuala Lumpur to ensure cleanliness despite the revelries, DBKL asked those planning to count down to the new year in public to keep the city streets clean when the sun rises tomorrow.
“To those that will be out for the New Year 2020 celebrations wherever it is... take care of our beloved city’s cleanliness. Celebrate but don’t mess up,” the city council wrote in Bahasa Melayu on its official Facebook page, using hashtags such as #WeloveKualaLumpur, #KLkitapunya, #PeopleMakeKL that nodded at the public’s sense of ownership of and love for the city.
In an accompanying poster, DBKL also spoke of the joint responsibility to ensure a clean Kuala Lumpur, urging city residents to not bring ribbon sprays to the New Year celebrations, but to instead bring rubbish bags to clean up afterwards.
DBKL did not pinpoint any specific New Year Eve celebration that its public service announcement was directed at, but the arguably most-high profile event tonight in Kuala Lumpur will be the Ambang 2020 programme to usher in 2020 at Dataran Merdeka with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad expected to attend.
The event organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and co-hosted by DBKL and the Federal Territories Ministry will feature the #KitaPunya2puluh2puluh concert, performances, a light show, fireworks and the launch of Visit Malaysia 2020 and its official song.
Malaysians have in the past been known to leave rubbish at celebration venues after New Year Eve countdowns for cleaners to clean up, instead of throwing such rubbish into rubbish bins, with news reports of such incidents stretching at least as far back to 2009.
The recurring problem had even led a group of volunteers to clean up in the wee hours of the morning of 2018 New Year’s Day at the KLCC area, with the group collecting an estimated 140 bags of rubbish that filled at least one truck while assisting KLCC cleaners.
This littering problem has also been observed in other celebrations locally, including the Merdeka celebration at KLCC this year which saw an 18-year-old Malaysian spending two hours to voluntarily pick up the trash as he lamented how the litterbug attitude showed nation’s lack of progress.
A film director had also led a group of volunteers to assist in cleaning-up efforts of waste during this year’s Thaipusam celebrations at Batu Caves, while a 28-year-old Malaysian man has also taken to posting selfies with rubbish left at public places before cleanups to raise awarenes and inspire others.
Beyond Kuala Lumpur, this year a Taiping resident was highlighted to have voluntarily kept the streets of his town clean, while Malaysians have also carried out gotong-royong efforts including a cleanup in October which saw 333 kg of trash collected from Pantai Kelanang in Banting.