Seize The Current Opportunity To Build Back Better

SANDAKAN: Democratic Action Party (DAP) Member of Parliament for Sandakan Vivian Wong in a statement issued today said that millions of lives have been lost worldwide and many more have lost their livelihoods as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

But ironically it is exactly because of this painful suffering that created the momentum and opportunity for countries around the world to build back better and believe this is an opportunity to be seized upon to create a better place for all of us and for generations to come.

She said the above when delivering her keynote speech entitled “The Opportunity of Building Back Better – An MP’s Role in Transitioning To A Green Economy In Malaysia” during a webinar recently.

The webinar was organized by ASEAN Parliamentarians For Human Rights (APHR), which also included Member of Parliament for Klang, YB Charles Santiago, and Chairman of the Centre for Environment, Technology and Development, Gurmit Singh K.S, as the other two keynote speakers.

Vivian told the online audience that “Our world has been turned upside down by Covid-19. However, disaster has always led to unintended consequences, and one of them is how the pandemic has forced many to re-evaluate their lifestyles, and many are opting to move back to smaller cities to be closer with their families as well as for the less hectic lifestyles after experiencing prolonged period of lockdowns.

Thus, smaller city like Sandakan must seize this opportunity to attract this group of people back to reverse years of economic migration to bigger cities like Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru”.

“There is renewed focus and preference on living sustainably and in an environmentally-friendly way post-Covid-19. As such, I believe we must embark on more sustainable initiatives to put ourselves ahead in the coming years. It is increasingly critical to push our city to be greener”.

“Sandakan is blessed with forest reserves, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries all at her doorstep. There are many parks around Sandakan offering trails with different sights, scenes and level of difficulty, making trail walking a popular exercise regime for many locals. But we need to do more. One of my focus is to continue to green our living spaces through tree planting initiatives.*

“For example, instead of building huge shopping complexes, why don’t we plant more trees to create “green corridors” to connect all these parks together and turn them into a massive network of trails? I will call this our green highways, connecting various green lungs of the city.”

“To go another step further, how about putting in cycling lanes that goes side by side with our green highways? We could be offering an alternative way of life with our green highways – whether it is for recreation, for fitness training, or even for commuting to work or attending social event is not impossible.

This could be more attractive to visitors and locals alike compared to shopping centres and flyovers criss-crossing our city landscape.”

“We need to think differently as we try to build back better in the post-covid, new normal era and make Green the new Gold”.