Anyone who is in the sea snorkelling or diving at Perhentian probably has seen this since last week. The sea stinks and rubbish is everywhere in the ocean and on the beach. The visibility is bad due to waste particles. The condition will only get worse if the rubbish is not collected and shipped out of the island.
Every year Majlis Daerah hired a contractor who sends 2 fishing boats to load all the waste to mainland every day. Operators who pay every month for rubbish collection will usually leave all the rubbish on the beach near the jetty. A small speed boat will go to each collection site and transfer the waste to the bigger boats.
However, collection is not done on a daily basis during the monsoon season from December to April. This is the time where rubbish piles up. Resorts or chalets can’t leave the rubbish by the beach as it is an unpleasant sight and the odour is unbearable. Although the use of pontoons have been banned due to overflowing rubbish into the sea, especially when the it rains and the wind is strong, operators started to move the rubbish from the beach to the pontoons. The garbage on the pontoon accumulates and becomes a landfill above sea level.
Due to the fact that the rubbish is not collected frequently, these waste ends up in the sea. Tourists who visit Perhentian now will definitely see black plastic bags floating nearby the pontoon. These bags float along the current and many ended up on beaches. Some will tear off and the leaking waste pollutes the ocean! As much as I enjoy the marine life, I’m not willing to snorkel or swim in the ocean that is dirty!
I believe everyone knows it is a problem that needs immediate action. Human still produce rubbish every day and if there is no collection, it is just a matter of time Perhentian becomes polluted and tourism growth will decrease. Tourism Malaysia has launched that 2013 is the year to visit Terengganu but with such poor environmental conditions, I doubt anyone would want to come for Perhentian Fiesta which should be on-going throughout April. I hope that the government take immediate action to solve this problem because it is a health hazard to anyone who is on the island!