KUALA TERENGGANU: Malaysian actress and emcee Davina Goh knows the importance of marine conservation.
The Perhentian Island and beaches which Goh used to visit when she was younger were no longer recognisable to the local celebrity due to pollution.
She decided to work with marine-related NGOs – Reef Check Malaysia (RCM) and the MareCet Research Organisation (MareCet) – to raise funds for marine conservation.
She said the idea of raising funds came to her mind after she learnt about the Raleigh Round Island Challenge, organised by an NGO, Raleigh Kuala Lumpur.
Despite suffering from a severe back injury, Goh yesterday completed her challenge of 9km swim in the South China Sea and kayaking for an additional 9km around Pulau Perhentian Besar near here, in a bid to raise funds for marine conservation.
The challenge, dubbed as the longest open water swimathon in Malaysia, saw 18 teams of four taking part in the fourth challenge since its inception in 2013.
“I have been training hard since September last year and exerted my body so much.
“I have never done long distance swimming until now,” she told The Star.
Her aim was to collect RM20,000 and as of Saturday, has managed to raise RM17,700.
Goh who is also a fitness and health enthusiast said she was “very encouraged” by the generosity shown by Malaysians.
“It’s such a great honour to be able to raise that amount of money.
“The money will be equally distributed between the two NGOs.
Goh has been involved in theatre and television shows and also appeared in several Malaysian indie short films, including Baby The Rain Will Fall in 2009.
MareCet co-founder Fairul Izmal Jamal Hisne said Goh’s involvement was to create greater awareness on marine conservation.
“She has managed to reach out to many people to create awareness on marine-related issues that need to be addressed.”
Lau Chai Ming from Reef Check Malaysia said her organisation was grateful to Goh for her willingness to be involved in their conservation activities.
Among the youngest participants in the competition were Bong Phei San and Sim Jia Ching, both from Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Sim said that despite the event being “a very challenging one”, it was a great experience for them as first-timers.
“This was a fantastic outing for us and we will surely participate in the next year challenge.”