SEMPORNA: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Jaujan Sambakong hopes the Floating Garbage Collecting Pilot Project will address the issue of debris at Semporna’s coastal area.
Jaujan who is also the Local Government and Housing Minister, also hoped that the implementation of the pilot project will raise public awareness on the importance of clean seas.
He thanked Save The Sea Sdn Bhd for selecting Semporna as the location for the pilot project when officiating at the launch of the program at Seafest Jetty here yesterday.
Jaujan who was represented by the ministry’s deputy permanent secretary, Stanley Chong, said many people know that Semporna is famous for being a world-class tourist destination for its beautiful islands and dive sites such as Sipadan, Bohey Dulang and Sibuan, which are also known as the most popular diving spots in the world.
However, he said unsatisfactory levels of beach cleanliness with floating litters in coastal area affect the arrival of tourists here.
He stressed that the effort of maintaining the environment is a shared responsibility and believed that if everyone cooperates and plays their part in maintaining the cleanliness of the environment, the vision to have a waste-free area will be achieved.
Coastal area and a clean environment are important as they contribute to a safe environment, preventing various diseases and ultimately providing comfort to the population, he said, adding that a litter-free beach will attract more tourists to come to Semporna, not only to enjoy the clear and beautiful seaside but to appreciate the clean surroundings.
“Hopefully, this effort will also expand the tourism sector in Semporna and create greater employment opportunities for the locals,” he said.
Jaujan said tourism is one of the industries that requires a lot of workforce such as hotel workers, tour guides, as well as souvenir and handicraft shop workers.
“The exciting growth of the tourism industry in our area will increase the demand for trained and experienced workers.
“The tourism industry will also provide business opportunities to all. The growth of this industry is the heart of the development of many other sectors such as in transportation, food and beverages, handicraft, fisheries and agriculture.
“This will increase the income of the people and at the same time, the standard of living will also be improved,” he said.