Tuesday, June 25

Abg Jo: Sarawak a hub in marine wildlife conservation

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KUCHING: Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg hopes that Sarawak will one day be an example
not only for the country but other countries in South East Asia as well in marine wildlife conservation.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, he commented that the state was doing all it could to make that happen, with a few steps having been implemented over the years and others still in the planning stage.

“Sarawak and its government have always been concerned when it comes to its wildlife. We are doing our best to conserve it and we hope that we will one day be good enough to set example for others as well,” he added.

Apart from that, he called on more Sarawakians, especially youngsters, to be involved in animal habitat and wildlife conservation activities.

Although the state is rich in wildlife diversity, Abang Johari said it did not mean that conservation activities should be neglected, pointing out that it is the duty of Sarawakians to conserve the state’s wildlife.

Malaysian-born international actress Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh brought a sigh of relief when she recently praised the efforts of the state government after seeing many youngsters (mainly university students) becoming volunteers at Talang Talang island, a site for sea turtle conservation in the state.

According to Abang Johari, being well known as an environmentalist and wildlife conservationist, Yeoh was there to see the turtles.

“I guess we are heading in the right direction when we receive such an honourable praise by her for our efforts. We hope that her comments will spur more people on especially Sarawakians to have such awareness and get themselves involved in the future,” he enthused.

Meanwhile, a documentary on marine wildlife conservation in Sarawak is also in the pipeline, which will be spearheaded by Yeoh herself and done in cooperation with the Sarawak state government.

No details on the proposed documentary were revealed yet, but Abang Johari commented that negotiations between the production side and the state government had been very positive so far.

A meeting between the two parties took place at a local hotel yesterday, attended by a few assistant ministers and officials.

Among those present during the meeting were assistant ministers attached to the Tourism Ministry Datuk Gramong Juna and Datuk Talip Zulpilip, Assistant Minister of Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh and Tourism Ministry permanent secretary Datu Ik Pahon Joyik.

On the documentary, he hoped that it would help in telling the international community that the state is serious and doing all it can to preserve marine habitat.