As a frequent visitor of Wawasan Recreational Park, Lee Kim Siew, also known as ‘Uncle Lee’ is adored by regular park goers. This octogenarian, a former headmaster is often greeted in Cantonese by other park goers.
It is not merely his warm personality that resonates with people, but also his dedication in going above and beyond to care for the environment.
For the past five years, Uncle Lee has been spending three hours a day at Wawasan Recreational Park to pick up the litter dumped by park goers ranging from wrappers, bottles and cigarette butts.
In addition, he also clears small fallen branches and dried leaves on the ground. Speaking to Free Malaysia Today, he said – “When I first came here, I was shocked to find rubbish strewn everywhere, it was so smelly.”
Thus, he decided to take it upon himself to change this – “So I started cleaning up, picking up rubbish as I went along, and even digging drains to drain water from the pathways.”
When he first started, this practice would be carried out six times a week. Unfortunately, due to his old age, he has slowed down and only goes to the park four or five times a week.
“If I can, I want to continue. I don’t know, I’m getting old, next year I’ll be 85. It’s getting harder to walk.”
Despite that, the former educator who has donated over 67,000 books to schools in Malaysia, China and Thailand, hopes his efforts will inspire others to adopt this similar habit. As a matter of fact, he is not afraid of confronting anyone who litters. He would even go to the extent of advising them to change their bad habits.
“I like to see Malaysians of all races, Chinese, Malays and Indians, especially little children, enjoying the park. I don’t know how much longer I can do this as I am old, as long as I can, I’d like to continue.”
Uncle Lee’s dedication in keeping the environment clean is a reminder that it is our collective responsibility to preserve our environment. After all, the earth is the only thing that we all have in common!
Thank you, Uncle Lee for showing us that every Malaysian can reduce pollution by taking action to be part of the solution!
*Featured Image sourced from Free Malaysia Today