KUALA TERENGGANU, Just like Indonesia's Pandawara - a group of young individuals dedicated to cleaning up rivers and beaches marred by unsightly litter, inspiring countless others - Malaysia has its own comparable effort. Led by a team of youth, most of whom work in the cleaning sector, LKP Empire harnesses their expertise to conduct beach cleaning initiatives, ensuring the preservation of this invaluable asset for generations to come. Since its establishment in August last year, the group has conducted over 50 self-funded beach cleaning sessions and is now gearing up to expand its reach across the country. 'Terengganu is renowned for the breathtaking beauty of its beaches, drawing tourists and contributing to the socioeconomic well-being of local residents; yet, the surge in visitors has led to piles of garbage. 'Fueled by a growing passion for protecting the environment, LKP was created, with its name stemming from 'lok koho punoh', a phrase in the Terengganu dialect meaning if left unaddressed, the si tuation will worsen,' its founder Muhammad Uzair Emir Ahmad Faisal told Bernama. Muhammad Uzair Emir, 25, said that during his volunteer work, three locations in Terengganu were identified as 'dirty', namely Teluk Takir near the drawbridge, Pantai Kekabu in Marang, and the coastal areas affected by the monsoon phenomenon. Most of this rubbish, he said, was thrown away by beachgoers, along with debris washed ashore by the waves, especially following the monsoon period. Muhammad Uzair Emir also said that research conducted by his team uncovered that most of the debris, particularly that carried by the waves, originated from foreign countries. 'When it comes to research, of course it's crucial to have precise data because it wouldn't be fair for us to speculate on its origins. Therefore, for every piece of litter collected, we will check the label to verify whether the product is available in the Malaysian market,' he said, adding that his team recently retrieved a carton of water bottles and tobacco boxes n ot sold in the country. Despite scepticism surrounding the LKP Empire's mission and doubts cast on the possibility of fully clearing the beach of garbage, the Kelantan-born perceived these challenges as motivation to intensify efforts to address the prevalent garbage issue. Speaking about the membership of LKP Empire, the eldest of four siblings said that the non-governmental organisation (NGO) consists of five members handling management duties, along with 61 registered members, and they are open to welcoming anyone interested in participating in their endeavors. To increase awareness of their mission, Muhammad Uzair Emir said they will go live on their TikTok account, which currently has nearly 13,000 followers and has amassed over 100,000 likes on their content, each time they carry out their cleanup operations. 'We also welcome anyone who wishes to organise small-scale initiatives under the LKP Empire umbrella. Our ultimate goal is to establish ourselves as a hub for environmental enthusiasts,' he sai d, adding that his team's official programme is held every weekend. Meanwhile, a video featuring the collaboration between LKP Empire and Pandawara, a respected Indonesian environmental activist group, recently went viral across various social media platforms. Sharing about the collaboration, Muhammad Uzair Emir said that Pandawara had been following LKP Empire's journey since last year before choosing the NGO to represent Malaysia for its ASEAN tour, after collaborating with an activist group from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, last January. 'It all happened very quickly. Pandawara contacted us on March 13, and within two days, we implemented the project on a beach here. With just 15 people from both teams, we managed to collect 200 kilogrammes of garbage in just 30 minutes. 'We didn't expect to be able to collect such a substantial amount, which is mostly plastic, within half an hour. Also, the collaboration provided us with ample learning opportunities and facilitated the exchange of ideas,' he said. Sou rce: BERNAMA News Agency