SPEECH BY THE CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG
AT THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF THE UMBRELLA SHARING INITIATIVE
13 August 2018
Aspen Group Concept Gallery, Queensbay Mall
Dato’ Seri Nazir Ariff
Group Executive Director of Aspen Group
Dato’ M. Murly
President & Group CEO of Aspen Group
Dato’ Ar. Yew Tung Seang
Mayor of Penang Island City Council
Dato’ Finn Chong
Independent Non-Executive Director of Aspen Group
Mr. Lee Peng Cheong
Executive Director of Aspen Group
Mr. Harith Iskandar
Actor and the “Godfather of Stand-Up Comedy" in Malaysia
The management and staff of Aspen Group
Members of the press
Ladies and Gentlemen
Firstly, I would like to thank Aspen Group for having me this evening to officiate the Umbrella Sharing Initiative, a very meaningful initiative for the Penang community. I would also like to congratulate the Aspen Group for being the pioneers of this initiative and commend them for going the extra mile to promote the shared act of kindness via this Umbrella Sharing Initiative.
The Umbrella Sharing Initiative, is an initiative started by Aspen Group early July. This simple initiative is basically to provide convenience to the public through the act of sharing the umbrellas that have been placed at 12 of Aspen Group’s bus stops that can be found around Penang island, especially in areas where there are heavy traffic.
These umbrellas are also placed at 5 schools in Penang so that the students, teachers and parents can utilise these umbrellas when needed.
With the motto TAKE, USE, RETURN, Aspen Group aims to help the community to stay safe and protected on either rainy or hot sunny day. You can take the umbrella from any of the AG umbrella stands, use it for shade and shelter, then return it to any of the AG umbrella stand to be shared with others. You may not be aware that sometimes by doing this, the sharing can continue in an infinite loop, and we can help each other in our community and make Penang a better place to live.
Unfortunately, from what I have heard, many of these umbrellas are taken but do not make it back to the umbrella stands where they are supposed to be. So, with the official launching of this initiative, I hope that Penangites are able to turn into a new leaf and show Aspen Group that we can make this initiative a successful and sustainable one.
To engage with the community, I also understand that Aspen Group has come up with many creative approaches to make the public understand and aware of the objectives of this initiative, and hope that every one of us can share and educate the people around us.
Educational videos, images and GIF videos have been shared through their social media platforms ever since the initiative kick-started in early July. Educational flyers have also been distributed to the participating schools and will be distributed to the public in the near future.
They have also invited Harith Iskandar, to work together with them to spread the word and share this act of kindness. With Harith’s influence, I believe he can encourage the public to Take, Use and Return the umbrellas.
I personally also hope that other private corporations will be able to follow suit with what Aspen Group has initiated and step in to provide these simple conveniences to the public through some acts of kindness such as this.
Not only are we will able to teach the community to share, such initiatives can also educate the public to be more mindful, considerate and responsible on their action. Sharing is something that we were taught as kids but somehow as we become adults, we forget these teachings and become selfish and disregard the needs of others.
As Malaysians collectively, we were able to change our country to the new Malaysia that we have always dreamt of and make it a reality. Now, it is time for us to stand together to change our mind set towards a Malaysia that is productive and well respected by other countries of the world starting with ourselves. The Penang State Government applauds this initiative and will assist as much as possible to make this initiative a successful one.