Blind and visually impaired join event during Earth Hour


Participants including some from the blind and visually impaired community riding during the Earth Hour Run & Ride for Sight 2018 event at Queensbay Mall, Penang. — Photos: LIM BENG TATT and JEREMY TAN/The Star

Participants including some from the blind and visually impaired community riding during the Earth Hour Run & Ride for Sight 2018 event at Queensbay Mall, Penang. — Photos: LIM BENG TATT and JEREMY TAN/The Star

GREEN spirit and excitement were the order of the day for 800 participants of the Earth Hour Run & Ride for Sight 2018.

The event, which also featured 25 blind and visually impaired (BVI) riders and another five BVI runners, was flagged off at 6pm for the 7km run and 6.30pm for the 33km ride at Queensbay Mall in Penang on Saturday.

St Nicholas’ Home executive director Daniel Soon said this year’s edition of Ride for Sight saw the incorporation of a fun run to cater to those who would rather run than ride.

“We believe that the BVIs should enjoy the same quality of life. That is the main reason we organised the first Ride for Sight back in 2011. Today, there are 25 BVI riders and another five BVI runners who will go the full distance with you!,” he said in his speech during the event.

At the stroke of 8.30pm, the mall’s facade and non-essential lights were switched off to observe Earth Hour.

The event also saw a Glow In The Dark dance performance and a lucky draw session.

Serene Yoga participants having their session in relative darkness after non-essential lights were switched off or dimmed at Gurney Paragon Mall.
Serene Yoga participants having their session in relative darkness after non-essential lights were switched off or dimmed at Gurney Paragon Mall. 

Earlier, a mock cheque presentation was held where the Penang government presented RM5,000 to St Nicholas’ Home, Penang.

Present at the event were Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon, state Youth and Sports, Women, Family and Community Development Committee chairman Chong Eng, Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin, Penang Island City Council secretary Addnan Mohd Razali, general manager of mall management, northern region for CapitaLand Mall Asia (Malaysia) Selina Ng and G Club Penang Cyclists chairman Datuk Dr Lim Seh Guan.

Besides Queensbay Mall, several other places and shopping malls in Penang were also abuzz with various activities to mark the Earth Hour celebration.

At Gurney Paragon Mall, around 100 yoga enthusiasts and health- conscious folk took part in the hour-long Serene Yoga exercise session.

Guided by seasoned instructors, the participants bent, stretched and contorted their bodies in various poses as meditative music played.

At 8.30pm, lights were switched off or dimmed around the Festive Square venue and adjacent St. Jo’s building, bringing the session to a restful end.

Earth Hour Ride for Sight 2018 participants starting off from Queensbay Mall.
Earth Hour Ride for Sight 2018 participants starting off from Queensbay Mall.  

The mall’s assistant marketing communications manager Selene Yeap said the event was to remind people from all walks of life that they can play a part in protecting the planet.

“By adopting a low-carbon and sustainable lifestyle, we can lessen the burden placed on our planet and create a better future,” she added.

Non-essential lights were similarly switched off at nearby Gurney Plaza, which collaborated with tenant Neubodi on a bra recycling campaign, touted as the first of its kind in Malaysia.

The unused undergarments will be donated to third-world countries while old ones will be recycled to recover raw materials such as Spandex, nylon, metals and plastics.

These will then be converted into reusable solid fuel which can power industrial kilns, boilers and generators.

Low Peck Chen, CEO of CapitaLand Malaysia Mall REIT Management Sdn Bhd said their properties engage the community for Earth Hour annually through fun and educational campaigns.

“This year, we are rallying shoppers, tenants and staff to play their part by reducing their plastic, carbon and water footprint,” she added.

Over at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), more than 500 staff members participated in an Earth Hour run.

The external lights at Komtar were also switched off for an hour at 8.30pm.