Cleanliness has always been a matter of controversy in Penang. It was in 1991 that former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad famously gave his damning indictment that the state was fast becoming the Rubbish Bin of the Orient. When the Cleanliness Master Plan is presented to the state, can we expect radical change?
Rats, crows, clogged drains, dirty markets… these characterised Penang urban street life for a long time. Over the last two decades, however, the situation is believed to have improved, even if not radically.
A sweeper at Gurney Drive recently observed, “I have been cleaning Gurney Drive for the past five years. The street is much cleaner now than before. However, more rubbish is still being thrown during weekends than on weekdays. Even the new 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) bins are being used and people are segregating their waste into separate compartments. Attitudes are slowly changing but we can do much more.”
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