KOTA MARUDU, Aug 5 (Bernama) -- Physical and economic development would be
hollow if it does not go hand-in-hand with emphasis on conservation and
protection of the environment, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk
Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said.
He said that appreciation of the environment must also be a priority and a
part of life for all Malaysians in the nation’s quest to become a developed
nation by 2020.
Ongkili, who is also Member of Parliament for Kota Marudu, said that there
need to be societal awareness on environmental issues so that everyone can
work together to protect the environment and eco-system which also has an impact
on people’s lives.
"Phenomenon like flood, which has become a yearly occurrence in Kota Marudu,
could be a man-made problem due to illegal logging, for instance in the
past. Destructive fishing methods such as using bombs can cause a decline in the
"We need to be aware that our actions can disrupt the eco-system, leading to
a chain reaction that affects ourselves," he said after handing out funds to
to 26 secondary schools, primary schools and NGOs from the Kota Marudu
constituency, to conduct environmental conservation and awareness programmes.
ONGKILI-ENVIRONMENT 2 (LAST) KOTA MARUDU
He said that the Marudu Bay was rich in biodiversity, mangrove swamps and
marine resources which could contribute to enhanced economic activities for Kota
Marudu through eco-tourism and fishing activities.
Marudu Bay covers Kudat, Pitas and Kota Marudu districts right up to Pulau
Banggi. Its valuable resources have been recognized and Marudu Bay is part of
the five country continental shelf and the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral
Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security, as well as part of the proposed one million
hectare Tun Mustapha marine park in northern Sabah.
The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation is also funding studies
conducted with Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia and
Universiti Malaysia Sabah to develop, conserve and manage the bay while
identifying sustainable economic activities, he added.
"MOSTI is initiating these scientific studies to ensure that the rich
resources are protected and also utilised for economic activities through
sustainable development. But these efforts must involve the people who must be
aware of the need to protect and conserve the environment and natural
resources," he said.
Ongkili added that one way to promote the awareness of environmental
protection was through schools where the young are taught to appreciate the