Dr Chan (centre) plants a tree sapling during the event. — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: Planting more trees will help mitigate the effects of climate change and make an area cooler and more beautiful, said Malaysian Red Crescent (MRC) Sarawak chairman Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan.

The former deputy chief minister said although climate change affects countries across the world, it is sad that the topic is not taught in Malaysian schools.

“Climate change is happening and it is happening now and very fast. So we need to do our little bit and be aware of climate change,” he said at the MRC Tree Planting Day 2020 event in Matang here yesterday.

The annual event saw 50 saplings planted around the public field at Taman Lee Ling.

Dr Chan said one of the ways to control carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions is to plant trees to produce more oxygen.

“If you go to other countries, their skies are never blue like ours. We’re so lucky here that we don’t have droughts or really bad floods. So we should take care of our environment,” he said, adding he hopes to encourage the younger generation to get involved in tree planting.

On the event, Dr Chan said it began last year and will be held on every third Sunday in October, during which MRC will plant saplings in different places throughout the state.

“Last year, the focus was on schools and the events were held in schools. This year the target is in public areas,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Chan also launched the MRC 24-hour non-emergency community ambulance service.

The service is for those who need help going to and from hospitals, such as those who have a leg cast and find it inconvenient for them to use public transport, he said.

He also called on the public to help fund the service by channelling donations via Sarawak Pay.

“For donations every RM100 and above, donors will be rewarded with a first-aid kit as a token of appreciation,” he said.

There is currently one ambulance to serve the Kuching area and can be reached on 014-6084428, 014-6094428 or 014-6304428.