A clean-up will be held today, 21 September, after a video emerged showing Pulau Langkawi's waters littered with trash
A 39-second video showing the rubbish-filled waters had gone viral, even capturing the attention of Langkawi member of Parliament (MP) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad
Twitter user @amin_hafiszat shared the TikTok video with a man narrating how the island has been heavily polluted by people, allegedly taken a day after the island's reopening last Thursday, 16 September.
The video was taken in the waters near Bukit Malut and two prominent resorts.
Responding to the tweet that garnered over 16,000 retweets, Mahathir said he contacted the local council to handle the issue immediately.
"Langkawi is a tourist island. I call on everyone to be more responsible and not litter. Let us take care of Langkawi, the jewel of Kedah," he said.
Saiful added that the rubbish found in the sea has nothing to do with the reopening of the island to fully vaccinated tourists
"It is normal that whenever there is heavy rain or high tide, litter will be washed inland by waves. It comes from all over the place, including from neighbouring countries," he said.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) spokespersons said the issue can still partly be blamed on tourism, as well as the Myanmar refugee settlement nearby.
MNS adviser D Kanda Kumar said business operators on the island should play their part by disposing trash in the right places. He also called on the authorities to improve enforcement and upgrade the island's sewerage system to prevent the issue from reoccurring.
On the other hand, MNS vice president Eric R Sinnaya said the government needs to improve the nearby Bukit Malut settlement in order to avoid sea pollution
Speaking to The Vibes, he said the authorities should construct a sewage system for its roughly 10,000 residents who live on stilt homes.
He also stressed on the risk of damaging the coastline if the littering continues.