Derek Cheah (left) the newly-installed president of RCJBS, seen here with Tunku Temenggong Johor Tunku Idris Sultan Ibrahim at the 6th installation ceremony of the club last night. Pix by Chuah Bee Kim.

JOHOR BARU: The Rotary Club of Johor Baru Sentral (RCJBS) has responded to calls by an anti-dengue action group to tackle the rising number of dengue cases here.

Newly-installed RCJBS president Derek Cheah Kong Yew said the club has been participating in a pet project, initiated by its Past District Governor John Cheah, to "fight the bite" in its anti-dengue programme.

"We will be raising funds and helping schools in and around Johor Baru to seal their septic tanks, which are a breeding ground of the aedes mosquito.

"A simple act can make a difference in keeping our students safe from this deadly virus," Cheah said during his installation ceremony as the 5th president of the RCJBS at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel here last night.

RCJBS royal patron Tunku Temenggong Johor Tunku Idris Sultan Ibrahim was guest of honour at the ceremony.

Cheah said the club fully supports the Rotary Action Group's (RAG) initiative to combat dengue and the efforts made by John Cheah, who is RAG's secretary.

The RAG recently proposed a collaboration with schools to combat the high number of dengue cases in the state capital.

The action group recently conducted visits to schools in Taman Sri Tebrau and a vernacular school in Jalan Yahya Awal, both in Johor Baru, and it was revealed that the schools’ septic tanks had holes which would allow access to mosquitoes.

John Cheah had suggested for schools to install wire netting on septic tank covers as a precautionary measure, until the schools receive an allocation for the repair or replacement of the septic tanks.

A total of 14 people died of dengue fever in Johor, out of 212 cases recorded in the state in the week ending July 22.

Meanwhile, Derek Cheah Kong Yew said the Rotary theme for the year is "Making a Difference" (MAD).

He also called on clubs to carry out conservation projects such as tree planting activities.

He further said that RCJBS seems to be one step ahead with the launch of its Plant a Tree campaign, which was witnessed by Tunku Idris at last year's installation dinner.

"It is hoped that in this Rotary Year and if not by the next, we will be able to carry out our Plant a Tree campaign not only on land, but in the sea and air too.

"Yes, we may sound MAD, but it is about Making a Difference in preserving our planet earth," he added.