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Malaysia joins Earth Hour lights-off

KUALA LUMPUR, 28 March 2009: Malaysia plunged into darkness tonight with many of its famous landmarks and skyscrapers switching off to mark Earth Hour.

Tens of thousands of households and businesses nationwide joining millions others across the globe in solidarity to turn off non-essential lights for the one hour campaign aimed at raising awareness on global climate change.

This is Malaysia’s first participation in the event initiated by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) since it started in Australia in 2007.

In Kuala Lumpur, the gleaming Petronas Twin Towers went dark as the clock struck 8.30pm while at KL Tower, a base jumper carrying the Earth Hour flag parachuted from the tower to signal the start of the event.

Other landmarks including the historical Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Angkasapuri, Menara TM, Menara Maybank, Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur Hospital and National Heart Institute also had their lights turned off.

To commemorate the event, various events were held by shopping malls, including a Formula 1 ticket draw for lucky shoppers at Suria KLCC.

Restaurants and entertainment joints around the capital also dimmed their lights while some offered candle light themed dinner and programmes for their patrons.

At Dataran Merdeka and KLCC, thousands of people gathered to observe the moment of darkness which was telecast live on TV1.

In Perlis, the state’s biggest Putra Palace Hotel, Wisma TNB and several recreational spots in the state’s capital such Dataran Kechor also joined the campaign.

Seventy-four-year-old Sum Senapi from Taman Dato Wan Ahmad near Kangar switched to lighting up candles after he knew about the campaign through the media.

In Kuching, major hotels also supported the campaign by switching off lights in the lobby and the non-essential lights in their compounds.

Information Ministry Secretary-General Datuk Kamaruddin Siaraf said at Angkasapuri here that the campaign was a serious effort to reduce the effects of climate change.

Meanwhile, WWF-Malaysia executive director Datuk Dionysius Shama said the campaign was a success and showed that Malaysians were also very concerned about environment issues.    

He said the public’s response toward the campaign was overwhelming even though only 500 companies and some 60,000 households had registered to support the event.

“The actual number is more than that. This shows that people are fully aware of what global warming is all about and that everyone should be committed to pushing for more serious commitments to tackle this issue,” he told Bernama.

He said Earth Hour would provide a visual global mandate to pressure world leaders to strike a new global deal on climate change when they meet in Copenhagen in December. — Bernama


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