Kuching Car Free Morning Aims to Promote Healthy Lifestyles Through Recreational Sports Arts Cultural Activities

Kuching Car Free Morning Aims to Promote Healthy Lifestyles Through Recreational Sports Arts Cultural Activities

A Kuching Car-Free Morning programme has been launched by Kuching South City Council (MBKS) to reduce carbon emissions and also promote a healthy lifestyle.

Mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng said the programme is the first step for the council to encourage residents to participate in such an initiative.

He said the council recognised the importance of promoting sustainable urban mobility and has taken numerous steps to encourage alternative modes of transportation.

“The Car-Free Morning is aimed at reducing the number of vehicles in the street and to instead opt for bicycles, public transportation or walking.

“For example, we have invested in new bike lanes, improved public transportation services and launched campaigns to promote walking and cycling. The benefits of a car-free lifestyle are numerous.

“By choosing to walk, bike or take public transportation, we can improve our health, save money and reduce our carbon footprint. Moreover, a car-free city is a more vibrant, liveable and accessible place for all residents, regardless of age, ability or income,” he said at the launch of the programme at MBKS compound here, Sunday (May 14).

He said the programme also provides a massive opportunity for cities to realise how much pollution affected the lives of many.

“Vehicle emissions are one of the main sources of outdoor air pollution, particularly in cities. Ambient air pollution alone caused some 4.2 million premature deaths in 2019, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO),” he added.

In order to ensure sustainable cities all around, Wee said some steps have to be taken to shift from the current over-dependency on the automobile.

“We can begin this process by thinking how we re-organise and utilise public spaces for the benefit of not only new design and infrastructure, but also for new generations to think of that space differently and therefore create new narratives around it.

“Temporary interventions work with existing assets and focus on shifting people’s perception which will ultimately shape how we view and exercise sustainable urban planning in the long term.

“We must continue to invest in sustainable urban mobility infrastructure, such as pedastrianised zones and bike lanes, and work with our partners to provide safe and accessible public transportation for all residents,” he said.

Wee said the programme is also beneficial as family bonding activities especially for working parents as they get to spend some time with their children.

At the same event, MBKS also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Sunway Education Group (SEG) Sdn Bhd which was represented by its Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Engagement and Impact) Professor Mahendhiran Sanggaran Nair. The signing was witnessed by Deputy Premier Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

Wee said the MoU is beneficial to the council in terms of knowledge sharing, consultancy services by SEG, internship programme, community engagement, knowledge transfer, facilities and lab equipment.

Other side activities being held include Leo Club Run by UCSI Kuching, aerobic, Fun Walk, open counter for assessment bill payment, showcase of the Malaysia Book of Records for the largest artwork called ‘Turtle in the Sea’ created using plastic straws and also a closing prayer for World Peace 2.0 by the Kuching Dhama Vijaya Buddhist Association.