Spotlight on Malaysian forests

(From left) Taman Tugu fundraising, activation and communication head Tracey Surin, Lim, Smith and UN Global Compact Network Malaysia and Brunei executive director Faroze Nadar at the launch of the Rimba Kita programme. — LOW LAY PHON/The Star

A SATELLITE TV company is keen to play a role in conserving the environment through its Rimba Kita series.

Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd (Astro) launched the series of Malaysian-made documentaries on wildlife, nature and unsung heroes of the environment at Taman Tugu in Kuala Lumpur.

Astro group chief executive officer Euan Smith said Astro had been consistent in producing educational and environmental programmes.

“We are privileged to share themes that affect society,” said Smith after the launch.

Climate change, he added, was a big concern, and he revealed that Astro planned to go carbon neutral by 2040.

“We have reduced the plastic used in the packaging of our Astro installation box sets by 58%.

“Now, we want to reach out to the wider community through these educational documentaries,” he said.

Astro engaged several movie-makers in the country for the documentaries.

Among them is tiger protection society Rimau president and documentary producer Lara Ariffin.

“We have many lesser-known animals in our forests such as the yellow-throated marten which is a species native to Asia.

“This animal is called mengkira in the Malay language.

“I find that children do not know much about the animals in Malaysia.

“When we ask pupils to name some of the animals in our forests, they actually cite the ones on the African continent.

“This is because they are not exposed to local species through documentaries on TV. It is time they learnt what is living in our forests.

“Taman Tugu, which is in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, has interesting fungi such as basket fungi. Locals should appreciate this when they visit the park,” said Lara.

At the launch of the documentaries, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between Astro and World Wide Fund for Nature to promote public awareness and support WWF-Malaysia’s conservation efforts by broadcasting its content on the satellite TV’s platform.

WWF-Malaysia executive director and chief executive officer Sophia Lim said, “Our partnership with Astro will allow us to showcase the steps we are taking to protect a wide array of species such as the endangered Malayan Tiger, Bornean elephant, sea turtles and the orang utan.”

Among the documentaries are The Conservationist, Layar Liar, Wang Kelian, Finding Solo, Sampah Melata, Alam Merana, Bukan Nelayan Gila and Borneo Elephants - A Journey Through A Living Landscape.

The documentaries, which aim to highlight the rich biodiversity of Malaysian forests, will be available to all Astro customers at no extra cost until Sept 6.

As part of the Rimba Kita programme, Astro is also committed to tree sponsorships with Taman Tugu and tree planting with the Global Environment Centre.

The company will also hold a 5km Rimba Kita Run at Taman Wetland Putrajaya on Sept 24.

Proceeds will be channelled towards environmental conservation.

For details, visit

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Astro , taman Tugu , environement


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