KUALA LUMPUR: The Raja Muda of Selangor has made an impassioned plea to Malaysians to stop their apathy if they want to rid the country of dengue.
Tengku Amir Shah lamented that despite millions of ringgit spent on community projects and campaigns by the Health Ministry, non-governmental organisations and others, dengue had not been eradicated.
"We have not solved this problem because while these people are doing work, many Malaysians do not stand behind them.
"They do not bother to participate, pay any attention or think for a second that their ignorance could cause a life, until it does," he said when launching the Dengue-Free Malaysian Movement organised by Country Heights Holdings Berhad in Seri Kembangan yesterday.
The crown prince also urged Malaysians to practise the first line of defence to eliminate all possible breeding grounds by not littering, by keeping homes and neighbourhoods clean, and keeping oneself informed about Aedes mosquitoes and dengue.
"We are working hard towards being a high-income and developed nation, and to be well-liked by tourists and being in the international spotlight.
"Dengue does not fit in helping any of these goals to happen," he said.
He added that Malaysians must change their mindset and muster the effort to fight the deadly Aedes mosquitoes.
Also present at the event was Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, who shared similar views on the prevention of the epidemic and urged residential associations to play a major part.
"Since dengue fever occurs mainly in urban and semi-urban areas, it makes Rukun Tetangga the right volunteer movement to work with communities in prevention efforts," he said.
The movement by Country Heights is aimed at helping communities surrounding Seri Kembangan to fight the epidemic.
Besides setting up an information centre at Mines International Exhibition and Convention Centre to educate the public about the disease, the property giant is also providing fogging tools and other support to the neighbourhoods.