KUALA LUMPUR: It may be a new year, but old habits apparently die hard.
Rubbish left strewn all over the roadside by revelers at popular areas in the city centre after the New Year celebrations last night prove that Malaysians still have a long way to with regard to civic consciousness.
Mere minutes after entering the new decade, Malaysians celebrating in the city thought little of discarding food, used plastic bags, spray cans and even plastic “vuvuzelas”, the noisemakers made famous during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
This was witnessed by artist Naz Luna Harun, 26, who went with friends to celebrate the new year at KLCC but had their night ruined by the sight of the litter.
“Even before midnight, there was already rubbish thrown in the park.
“You could see food wrappers, small orange plastic bags used to bring food just left there on the grass.
“Those who bought the plastic horns just threw away one part and used the whistle while others were selling snow spray cans.
“My friends and I walked towards the Bukit Bintang monorail station as it was too packed at the KLCC train station.
“All the way from KLCC to Bukit Bintang, the roads were choked with trash.
“The trash bins were overflowing and since there weren’t enough bins, the public decided to simply throw their garbage on the streets.
“The worst part was some of the stall owners selling food along the street decided to just leave their rubbish next to the overflowing bins,” she said.
A Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) spokesman said prior to the New Year celebration, Ambang 2020, which was held at Dataran Merdeka and other parts of the city, the council had conducted campaigns on cleanliness.
“There were also reminders via posters published on social media platforms, reminding the public to bring extra garbage plastic bags and to not bring ribbon spray cans which produce colourful strings.
“Of course, these campaigns will take a long time so DBKL’s efforts serve to remind the public of our campaigns when it comes to big events such as the New Year celebrations,” he said.
So far, the spokesman said, no formal complaints had been lodged with DBKL on the littering.
Alam Flora Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Zain Hassan said the company had collected nine tonnes of garbage from major areas in the city.
“Based on our estimates, the nine tonnes of garbage were from Dataran Merdeka (2.5 tonnes), KLCC (four tonnes) and Bukit Bintang (2.5 tonnes).
“The cleanup process took eight hours after the event was done.
“We deployed 100 personnel, including general workers, drivers and supervisors.
“Ten units of compactors and cleaning machines were used to clean up the areas,” he said.