Published on: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Kota Kinabalu: Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun urged all quarters to do what is right rather than just make popular moves on conservation.
He said though many "vilified right decisions", personal habits had been the caused of many environmental challenges faced in Sabah at present.
For example, he said the State waterways and rivers are now being treated like a dumpsite and people in the City are blaming villagers on Gaya Island and vice versa.
"But according to the City Hall, 70 per cent of the rubbish are dumped from moving vehicles. We are the real culprits.
"This is habit... if we do not change our habits, this problem will continue," he said in his address during the opening of Sustainable, Environment and Eco System Development (Seed), here, Monday.
Meanwhile, Masidi said the State Government's move to ensure 55 per cent of Sabah having protected forests, by amending certain policies and cancelling all logging licenses had been one of the "unpopular moves".
But it has resulted in Sabah raking in RM6 billion in tourism receipts, he said.
"It is an unpopular decisionÉbut if we keep on logging, there is nothing left for the future.
"Besides, there is nothing attractive about Sabah if the forests are gone.
You can actually make money by not cutting down this resources," said Masidi, who commended the Chief Minister on the move.
Masidi noted that a balance can be struck between profits and environmental responsibilities, adding that it is still not too late.
He said there are some six million hectares that has not been cleared for development, hence the work of conserving it for the future remains.
"We have to take action right now. The legacy I want to leave for Sabah is how to make Sabah better.
This mean we take less now so that the future generation can take more," he stressed.
He also suggested that the government start protecting its wildlife and marine life, saying that Sabah is now forced to send its rhinoceros to the Cincinnati Zoo in the United States for reproduction, while many of its marine resources are now ending up in markets in foreign places like Hong Kong.
Masidi said Sabah is facing a tough time against poachers and illegal fishing, adding that the government needs to amend laws to conserve them.
"You may not realise it, but some of the best fish from our sea is not in the local market but somewhere in Hong Kong.
Our fish resources are getting lesser and the better fish are being exported," he said.