An 18-year-old Singaporean student named J-Min took a stand for the planet in the country’s first “climate strike” last Friday (13 March) at HarbourFront — which houses the office of oil and gas corporation ExxonMobil — by skipping a day at school.
Sharing her campaign on her Instagram, she held up signs that said, “Planet over profit, School strike 4 climate, ExonMobil kills kittens and puppies”. J-Min received overall supportive responses from Instagram users on that post which has garnered 205 likes and 15 comments so far.
This campaign was also supported by Singaporean activist Jolovan Wham who posted about the campaign on his personal Facebook page on the same day.
He said, “Singapore’s first climate strike! J-Min skipped school today to call for more urgent action to be taken on climate justice. She is at Harbour Front because it is the office of ExxonMobil. Join the conversation on Twitter @f4fsg #fridays4future #climatestrikesg.”
J-Min also created a website, climatestrike.sg, which now redirects to Fridays 4 Future Singapore, which is the Singaporean branch of the international movement started by Swedish student activist Greta Thunberg. The movement involves school students who skip class on Fridays to participate in demonstrations to demand action from political leaders in their country to combat climate change.
J-Min explained that she believes an extreme policy change is needed to save the world and she realized that Singapore contributes to climate change too, with 0.11% emissions and is home to one of the largest oil refineries.
On her website, she stated that the Singaporean Government never mentioned that Jurong Island is a major contributor to the country’s emissions. She also stated her disappointment when Minister Heng Swee Keat delivered his Budget speech in February and saw that the government’s commitment in 2020 to combat climate change was to introduce electric vehicles and build flood defences, but did not mention that the petrochemical industry which contributes to climate change.
J-Min said she thinks if Singapore does not do its part to cut emissions drastically, everything we will ever know will cease to exist.
By this campaign, she hopes her voice for change will be heard by the government.