Clean Up Underway at Langkawi After Viral Video Highlights Pollution

Clean Up Underway at Langkawi After Viral Video Highlights Pollution

Reminder to always travel responsibly!

Langkawi Island is easily one of the most popular destinations in Malaysia. You could even say it’s ranked within the top five alongside hot spots like Penang and Melaka! That’s why, when the beautiful island reopened for (domestic) tourism on 16 September, over 200,000 flight tickets to the island were snapped up almost instantaneously! 

That being said, many Malaysians were worried that Langkawi’s opening might spark another coronavirus wave, despite almost 80% of the country’s adult population having already been fully vaccinated.

However, a recent viral video drew attention to a different kind of problem: pollution.

A solemn sight


Image credit: CeritaBudi

A few days ago, Malaysia’s Twitterverse was up in arms after a 39-second video showed an “ocean of trash” in Langkawi. Originally posted on TikTok by user CeritaBudi, the video is believed to have been taken in Bukit Malut, near two popular seaside resorts.

In the video, CeritaBudi narrates (in Malay) how the water was full of different kinds of rubbish over solemn background music. The video was posted just a day after the travel bubble officially began. After being shared on Twitter, the video went viral, catching the attention of many netizens, including former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad. 

Mahathir, who is also the MP of Langkawi, tweeted out that he had contacted the local district authorities immediately to begin cleaning up the area. He reminded Malaysians that Langkawi was an island that relies on tourism and told everyone to be more responsible and not to litter.  

At the time of writing, we understand that the clean-up work, involving several public and private agencies, is already underway.

Is it really the fault of tourists? 


Image credit: Manish Tulaskar

Since the reopening of Langkawi, the island has seen a massive spike of traffic, fueled by eager travellers heading to the island for a long-deserved vacation. And, as the number of visitors increases, it’s inevitable that the amount of waste would increase too. However, was the ocean of trash really caused by irresponsible tourists? 

Apparently not. According to district office Saiful Anwar Azmi, the trash in the video was most likely drawn in by the waves from neighbouring countries. “This is a normal occurrence after heavy rain or during high tide,” he explained. 

However, the advisor of the Malaysian Nature Society, D Kanda Kumar, disagreed. According to Kumar, the recent spike in tourism has no doubt contributed, to some extent, to the increase of trash and pollution in the area. He also took the opportunity to call on the local authorities to enforce stricter laws against polluters and to improve the island’s sewerage system.

Also read: A 3D2N Guide to Langkawi for Amazing Beaches and More

Regardless of who’s at fault, I think we can all agree that we should always do our part when travelling to keep the destinations we are visiting clean!

About Author

Darren Yeoh
Darren Yeoh

Darren enjoys the finer things in life and loves exploring unfamiliar places on foot, guided with nothing but instinct and a good-old fashioned map. He enjoys cultural experiences and exciting adventures and is not a stranger to travelling alone. When he's not putting his travel experiences into words, he's probably sitting behind his laptop, planning his upcoming adventure.