A Kick of Hope for Terengganu’s Turtles
No one would have guessed the connection between Football, Freezing, and Dancing with the biggest market selling turtle eggs in Peninsular Malaysia, Pasar Payang, in Kuala Terengganu. But on June 16th 2012, the dots were connected for one sole objective – the campaign themed ‘Telur Penyu: Beli Jangan, Makan Pun Tidak!’ (Turtle Eggs: Buy Not, Eat Not). Jointly organised with Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), the campaign targeted the public who are selling and eating turtle eggs.
The event commenced with a Bicycle Convoy comprised UMT’s Cycling Club and whole day activities at Bazaar Warisan including exhibitions, face painting, pledge signing, children performances and a talk by renowned motivational speaker, Dr. Harlina Halizah Siraj.
The highlight of the event was the ‘Freeze to End Turtle Egg Trade’ held at Pasar Payang and participated by some 60 volunteers, including a special appearance by the state’s football players, aptly called ‘Skuad Penyu’. To encourage the public to have the right appetite towards turtle conservation, together they froze for 10 minutes wearing information panels in front of turtle egg stalls.
Volunteers from UiTM Dungun and UMT then burst into groovy moves with a turtle-inspired Flashmob in front of Pasar Payang. Later, the footballers joined the pledge signing to not buy nor eat turtle eggs.
Turtle eggs are still openly sold in the markets in Terengganu, but only Leatherback eggs being illegal for trade and consumption. The campaign hoped to serve as a platform to educate and instil awareness amongst the public that each turtle egg that ends in the markets and in their stomachs contribute towards the species’ further decline.