The first car free day by the Taiping Municipal Council (MPT) was held on Saturday with the aim to reduce the emission of carbon monoxide among others.
The Yang Dipertua of MPT, Khairul Amir Mohamad Zubir stated that the car free day will be carried out twice a year according to initial plans.
He highlighted the possibility of it being held more frequently following encouraging responses from members of the public.
“Car free day means there is no usage of vehicles on the road. However, it is difficult to be implemented throughout Taiping as the town has plenty of crossroads.
“At the very least, carbon emissions can be reduced by closing the road for a certain period of time.
He said so in his speech during the launch of the car free day at Dataran Warisan in Taiping.
Khairul Amir gave the example of the situation that occurred in 2020 and 2021, when the country was facing the Movement Control Order due to the pandemic.
According to him, the air quality improved and various bird species from Europe and Asia dropped by the Taiping Lake Gardens following the reduced number of vehicles on the road at the time.
“Among the memorable events was the presence of Hoopoes, also known as the Hud-hud. Rarely spotted in this country, the birds selected the Taiping Lake Gardens as its breeding spot.
“The birds had dropped by twice to breed last year.
“The current endemic process sees a sharp increase in carbon emissions in Taiping especially during peak hours and weekends.
“As a result, Taiping, which is the wettest region with between 100 to 200 inch of rainfall per year, experienced heatwaves with almost 2 weeks without rain.
He also hoped for public participation in making Taiping a liveable city.
The car free day was held in conjunction with the celebration of City Day and Malaysia Day.
Various activities were held during the initiative such as a 71-km cycling event, Zumba fitness challenge and 5-km fun run.
There were also exhibitions by government and private agencies as well as a marketplace by traders from the Cross Street Bazaar.
The programme involved collaboration with various agencies such as the Land and District Office of Larut Matang; Department of Environment Taiping Branch, Taiping Fire and Rescue Station and District Health Office of Larut Matang and Selama.
by Rosli Mansor