SEMPORNA, 7 July 2018 – Traveling while picking up garbage. That is what a Dutch citizen is doing while traveling to a few countries including Malaysia, he picked up garbage to deliver a message to the public not to be shy about keeping the environment.
Lately, Tijmen Sissing, 27, went viral in social media after his picture of picking up garbage with a group of children in Semporna was widely shared.
Before this, he picked up garbage while he was in Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Philippines and West Malaysia, but only gained widespread publicity in Lahad Datu, Semporna and Tawau.
Following up his widespread publicity in Eastern Sabah, the locals started to join his cleaning ‘jobs’ and even provided garbage bags, food as well as vehicles to transport the garbage.
Besides joined in by a group of children in Semporna, while in Tawau, he was assisted by 23 volunteers and managed to collect waste dumps in 82 big bags in just three hours-time.
Tijmen said he began to be aware of the need to address dirty environment after discovering large amount of rubbish while traveling in Thailand, Laos and Australia in 2012.
While cleaning a place, he received some scornful looks from the locals because he was collecting rubbish in a public place.
“Even if they laugh, I still welcome them and asked “Apa khabar?” Collecting waste dumps using a rubbish bag apparently make me look funny,” he said. – Olivia Miwil, Berita Harian (translated)