Brunei switches off lights for Earth Hour

National 2 minutes, 23 seconds


LIGHTS were switched off across the country yesterday as Brunei observed the eighth year of Earth Hour, promoting awareness on energy conservation.

Several hundred people gathered in the capital for the annual event, joining millions worldwide in switching off all non-essential lights for one hour. This year, a record 158 countries and territories across some 7,000 cities and towns participated in the world’s largest celebration for the planet.

At the Yayasan Sultan Hj Hassanal Bolkiah Complex, Development Minister Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Suyoi Hj Osman led the symbolic “lights-off” moment.

Candles and glow sticks lit the area as lights were switched off from 8.30pm to 9.30pm with other landmarks, such as the Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien (SOAS) Mosque, Kg Ayer Tourism and Cultural Gallery as well as Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium, also going dark.

Earth Hour also saw participation from other government buildings, including the new Prime Minister’s Office located in Berakas.

Brunei’s ambassador for Earth Hour, Sheikh Jamaluddin Sheikh Mohamed, said the global event aimed to promote a wider understanding of energy conservation.

“Global warming is real and happening. Our weather pattern has changed drastically as a result,” he added. The former director of Tourism said more efforts are needed to ensure the environment is sustainable to conserve and preserve the functionality of the earth. “This is a good cause that needs support from people of all walks of life regardless of your religion, your race, your nationality. We need you to understand the purpose and meaning of Earth Hour. Protect our planet to ensure the survival of everything that is living and growing,” he said.

As an oil-producing country, Sheikh Jamaluddin pointed out that Brunei is part of the global warming problem.

“By having Earth Hour – and by having the government involved – shows that we are doing our best to find ways to conserve and protect our little planet,” he said, commending the Ministry of Development’s inaugural collaboration at the event.

During the “lights-off” period, the Development Minister led hundreds of local Earth Hour supporters on a walk around Bandar Seri Begawan.

A fun run and cycle ride also took place from the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium to the Yayasan Sultan Hj Hassanal Bolkiah Complex, while Earth Hour global ambassador Spider-Man made an appearance in the capital. Prior to the event, a mass Isyak prayer was held at the SOAS Mosque, followed by a one minute of silence for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. The Earth Hour team in Brunei also urged people to use social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and Google Maps with the hashtag #yourpower to connect with others around the globe in spreading awareness about energy conservation. Organised by the World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour has evolved into the world’s largest environmental grassroots movement.

The Brunei Times