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 Local

A boy with a big heart for turtles

Turtle
Alex (left) receives the contribution from Ahmad Iszuddin.

14th November, 2017

By JAMES LEONG

SANDAKAN: He may just be 11 but Ahmad Iszuddin Ahmad Izham is now a social media star after his campaign to save the leatherback sea turtle went viral and caught attention of the media.

Iszuddin happened to be at the Easy Like Sunday Morning Bazaar held at Armada Hotel in Petaling Jaya, to raise funds for Walai Penyu Conservation Park which is located on Libaran island in Sandakan, when he caught the attention of visitors.

For the whole October, he had sold cookies, recipe books and Turtle My World t-shirts to raise RM270. At the bazaar, he wanted to raise at least another RM230 to make an even RM500 for the Conservation Park.

Iszuddin said, “The money may not be a lot, but I believe every little sen counts, especially when the Conservation Park is on its own without any funding from the government.

“So the money I help raised can be used to do more beach cleaning activities, buy more nets for the nestling areas and just take better care of the turtle eggs,” he said.

Alexander Yee, president of FOSTER (Friends of Sea Turtles Education & Research) who operates the Walai Penyu Conservation Park, happened to be in Kuala Lumpur and decided to pop by at the bazaar to meet Iszuddin.

In one of his WhatsApp chats he had with Iszuddin’s mom, Yee said, “That’s very noble of Iszuddin, I’m glad he has an awareness at a young age and I hope he continues his efforts.”

“It is also my hope that the awareness he has created will prompt many more kids to follow his footsteps by making efforts to conserve and protect the environment,” he added.

Iszuddin handed a cheque of RM270 to Alexander and promises to also help other conservation centres in the country.

To date, Iszuddin has baked over 15,000 cookies, sold 200 of his recipe books and spoke at three talks about his mission. He was also featured in Kelab Mickey Mouse Disney Channel Asia on his thoughts about conserving the environment and highlighted the plight of turtles and sea animals being killed due to trash thrown in the sea by irresponsible people.

He was also recently selected by Sunway Group as one of the ten Wildlife Heroes where he contributes ideas and suggestions on the importance of wild life and nature.

Since March 2017, with the help, support and contribution of so many people as far as Sweden, he has raised RM2,650 and contributed to four turtle sanctuaries located in Terengganu, Pahang, Negeri Sembilan and Sabah.

   
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