GPF Korea President Dr. David Yoo announced the expansion of GPFF’s All Lights Village Project to serve rural residents of the Malaysian state of Sabah in Borneo on May 28, 2012.
The All Lights Village project brings inexpensive, environmentally friendly solar lanterns to remote communities with limited access to electrical power, providing nighttime illumination for children’s studies and other household needs.
GPF Korea previously supported All Lights Villages in the Philippines as part of a joint Global Peace Leadership Exchange initiative between GPF Korea and the GPF Philippines. Leadership exchanges between Korea and Malaysia have been ongoing, and with the Sabah initiative, the All Lights Village project is expected to grow based on the development model in the Philippines.
In a meeting with Dato Azman Bin Hasan, the Director General of Malaysia’s Department of National Unity and Integration, Dr. Yoo presented an overview of the All Lights Village project and a proposal to bring the program to Malaysian villages. Director General Bin Hasan promised to give full support at the central government level and said that the project would benefit villages not only in Borneo but also in rural areas throughout Malaysia.
Sabah is the second largest of 13 states in Malaysia. It borders the state of Sarawak, Malaysia’s largest, and is located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo, the third largest island in the world. In Malaysia, Borneo is known as East Malaysia while the mainland is called West Malaysia.
The widening economic gap between largely rural and undeveloped East Malaysia and more prosperous and densely populated West Malaysia is a cause of growing social unrest. The All Lights Village Project will provide night-time illumination that will support children’s evening study and other home-based activities.
“By working with the government of Malaysia, the Allright Project will accomplish a visible outcome as soon as possible,” President Yoo said. “At the same time it is important for Malaysians to have ownership so that they can continuously spread this project.”