Opening Speech for for Penang Green Idol Tournament Winner Announcement

Speech by YB. Tuan Zairil Khir Johari, Penang EXCO for Infrastructure and Transport during the Facebook Live for Penang Green Idol Tournament Winner Announcement on 27th November 2021.

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

Thank you for watching the Facebook Live Winner Announcement for the inaugural Penang Green Idol Tournament (PGIT) organised by the Penang Green Council.

Today, we are celebrating youths and young leaders who are dedicated to environmental advocacy here in Penang. As we all know, the future does not belong to us, but to our children. Our young ones are going to inherit the planet from us. Therefore, it is very important that we prepare them in the best way so that they may be resilient to the challenges of the future.

Over the decade, the Penang Green Council has been working continuously to educate and empower our citizens in environmental protection. In fact, PGC started a competition called Penang Green Idol since 2015, a specially designed platform for kids and youths to share their voices and thoughts about the environment.

Unfortunately, we had to put a halt to it in 2020 due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, most of PGC’s programs have been mostly conducted online via various virtual platforms. This year, PGIT is back with a BANG!

In conjunction with the Penang Green Council’s 10th Anniversary celebration this year, we are bringing back the previous Green Idols to compete again in teams. Congratulations to PGC and to all our Green Idols. I wonder who will emerge as the champion team after 3 rounds of competition.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Like all cities around the world, Penang is already feeling the impact of climate change, with higher reported rainfall and more extreme weather events in the last decade. The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has reported that the critical threshold for extreme weather events lies between 1.5°C to 2°C of warming. Currently, evidence shows that the world is moving towards a 2-3°C increase in temperature by the end of the century making the issue of climate change extremely important.

While the world struggles to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important that we do not also forget the ongoing battle to save our environment as well. It is no use for us to be healthy if the planet isn’t. Therefore, it is our duty to protect ourselves and our children from both the virus and environmental harm. So the question is: are we doing enough and are we doing it right?

Everyone, no matter who you are, can do something. We hope that through this event, we will be able to inspire more citizens and future leaders to make a change and take steps to defend and speak for Mother Earth. Leadership is an action, it is about impact, influence and inspiration. And a leader is the one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.

Well done to all participants who participated in this tournament and thank you to the PGC team for organising such a meaningful programme. I wish all of you great success in your future and good luck to our winners. Remember, we are a part of the environment, not the other way around.

Thank you and please stay safe! 

YB Zairil Khir Johari is delivering his opening speech