SEMPORNA: Local authorities will continue ordering litterbugs to wear a special “upgraded” vest to fix the longstanding rubbish problem in Semporna, said district officer Bianus Kontong.
Kontong thanked the public for their feedback, including those who criticised them for ordering litterbugs to wear the vest with the word monyet (monkey).
He said instead of removing the word, the committee had decided to upgrade the vest with the image of a monkey and the words “kerja amal mengutip sampah”.
“We want to send out a message to all, including tourists and visitors, that we are serious about making Semporna trash-free.
“There were many positive and negative responses but we won’t budge on this matter,” he said yesterday.
Kontong said the committee tasked to clean up Semporna has set a key performance indicator for the district to be trash-free by April this year.
He said 48 people had been penalised for littering since the programme started in November last year, including two Chinese tourists.
Of that number, 32 people opted to pay the RM100 fine while the remaining chose to do the “one-hour” clean-up.
Kontong said they were mulling to increase the fine to RM500 and doubling the community service time to two hours, as well as introducing more “creative” penalties.
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal expressed confidence that the target would be met with the assistance from the public.
“We still need to do more to increase community participation so that the results and positive changes in attitude would be permanent.
“There must be continuous awareness and education to make cleanliness a part of our culture,” he told reporters after meeting local civil servants and community leaders.