Michelle Yeoh skips silver screen for sustainable development

Last update: 10/12/2019

By Hamdan Ismail

KUCHING, Dec 10 -- Hollywood megastar from Malaysia, Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh, took time off from the silver screen today to attend a forum on sustainability and renewable energy here, with her presence stealing the attention of energy experts.

Dressed in a light pink suit for the occasion, the Ipoh-born actress who carved her name in numerous blockbuster movies, came to the Sarawak capital not for a film shoot but as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

“In this capacity, I am called upon to advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals. These 17 Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs provide a blueprint on how different stakeholders in developed and developing countries can work together to deliver the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a path towards shared prosperity,” she said in her speech.

Yeoh also asked the 500-odd audience that included Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to imagine carrying out daily routines without electricity, in stressing her point on the importance of energy in the daily lives of human beings today.

“What would your morning or work day look like without electricity? Could you even do your job without it?” she asked.

The actress said Malaysians should consider themselves fortunate as nearly 100 per cent of them had access to electricity in contrast with about 840 million people living in other parts of the world, who were not as lucky.

She said another three billion people still relied on unhealthy fuels seen as unsustainable and unacceptable, based on the standards set by the United Nations.

“Our current energy use is the main contributor towards climate change, producing around two-thirds of global greenhouse gases,” Yeoh said, also calling for collaborative efforts between governments and other parties to achieve the vision of a zero-carbon and climate-resilient future.

“It is time to raise the bar, invest in the global energy transition and scale up renewable energy globally,” she added.